Cancer in Pregnancy
As more and more women have delayed childbearing due to professional career decisions, cancer in pregnancy, while still uncommon, is seen more frequently these days than in previous years. Among the most common cancers diagnosed during pregnancy are breast cancer, ovarian tumors/cancer, and pre-cancerous and cancerous changes of the cervix. Other cancers that are regularly reported during pregnancy include colon cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and thyroid cancers. Cancer in pregnancy requires a participation of multiple specialists, including the Gynecologic Oncologist, Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist (i.e., Perinatologist), Pathologist, Radiologist, Neonatologist, and possibly representatives from Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgical Oncology, Labor & Delivery, and even a hospital Ethics Committee. Issues that need to be addressed and/or resolved when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with cancer include accurate diagnosis and staging of the cancer, timing of therapy, maternal effects of therapy, fetal effects of therapy, maternal and fetal surveillance, neonatal follow-up, and socioeconomic/ethical/religious issues.