Being pregnant can be a difficult time in a woman's life, and it can be made even more stressful if she is is ill. For example, although it is rare, women with cancer can still become pregnant, and this can pose some difficult challenges for them. For example, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, some cancer treatments can harm the fetus, leading women to have to choose between treating their disease or protecting their baby. However, sometimes there are circumstances where a woman can have a healthy pregnancy while undergoing common cancer treatments
Recently, CBS4, a Denver news source, recently reported on a local couple who was overjoyed when they gave birth to a healthy baby, despite the fact that the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer only a few weeks into her pregnancy.
Joys and setbacks
The couple, Sarah and Ryan Addison, were very excited to learn that they were expecting a child. However, their joy soon turned to apprehension when they discovered that Sarah had breast cancer soon after learning she was pregnant. Once she learned of her diagnosis, she decided to fight the cancer aggressively with chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.
Although they were disappointed with the diagnosis, they were happy they caught it when they did.
"I don't know if I would have been diagnosed if I wasn’t seeing a doctor regularly for my pregnancy, so in that sense I think that being pregnant saved my life," Sarah told CBS.
Despite the treatments, Sarah recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who does not appear to have been affected by the chemotherapy or surgery.
However, the couple's battle isn't over. Sarah will begin a new chemotherapy regimen in January, 2013. For now though, they will be spending the holiday season enjoying their new baby.
Cancer and pregnancy
Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease that occurs in pregnant women, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Often, the tumors are difficult to locate due to pregnancy-related breast enlargement. Chemotherapy - especially during the first trimester - can disrupt fetal development and even cause a miscarriage. However, as this story shows, it can still be possible to have a healthy baby while battling cancer, since doctors can offer treatments that take into account the health of the mother and the baby.