Against all odds, women who undergo treatment for breast cancer can hold out hope of having a child after they've recovered.
The Star Press recently spotlighted Jessica Hicks, a breast cancer survivor and mother of two. Hicks had her first child in 2000, but in 2009, she learned of her illness. Due to her cancer and her husband's own health concerns, as well as their unsuccessful attempts at conceiving in the few years prior to Hicks' diagnosis, the family put the idea of having a second child on hold.
At age 33, Hicks considered undergoing a hysterectomy and subsequently decided against it, the news source reported. Weeks later, noting changes in her body, she wondered if she might be pregnant. A pregnancy test confirmed her suspicions.
The relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer is complex. According to the news source, pregnancy expert Peter Voss said that it's rare for women to become pregnant after they've undergone chemotherapy, especially because the treatment often does damage to the ovaries.
On the other hand, the American Cancer Society noted that having a child in a woman's younger years can reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life, as it lessens overall exposure to estrogen. However, women who become pregnant after 30 have a mildly elevated risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to the organization.
"My surprise miracle" is how Hicks fittingly referred to her pregnancy in her interview with The Star Press.
"It's really sad that something most people just take for granted, that [some survivors] are wanting so badly, and they have to wait because of breast cancer ... I know how blessed I am, and I don't take it for granted," Hicks told the news source.
Does Hicks' story inspire you? Do you know of someone who had a child after battling cancer? Leave your feedback in the comments section!