What happens if you're pregnant and have a brain tumor?

Being a healthy pregnant woman can be difficult enough, so imagine how tough it is for women who are battling medical problems while they're expecting. While women who are aware of their medical issues may already have a plan in place for how to handle all of the challenges of being pregnant with an illness other women may discover they are sick during the first trimester of pregnancy or later. 

For example, the State Journal-Register, an Illinois news source, recently spoke to Liz Sanchez, a woman who discovered that she had a brain tumor while she was pregnant. Specifically, Sanchez had a type of tumor known as neuroblastoma, which is most commonly found in children. Her case was so rare, in fact, that her doctor told her that she may be the only pregnant woman in the country to have a neuroblastoma. 

What's next?
After her diagnosis, doctors had to decide how they should proceed and treat Sanchez. While the normal course of action involved immediately giving her surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, the doctors also had to think about what was best for the baby, who could be harmed by these treatments. 

"There was no protocol for this," Sanchez told the State Journal-Register. "I remember the doctors kept saying, 'There are two patients here'; me and the baby." 

The doctors decided that the best thing to do would be to operate on Sanchez's brain, deliver her baby and then give her chemo and radiation. This meant that her baby would have to be born two months before her due date. 

Thankfully for Sanchez, everything worked out very well. She and her baby are now home safe and sound, and both are recovering nicely. While no one should have to go through something like this while pregnant, Sanchez believes that her pregnancy may have been what saved her. 

"If I hadn't been pregnant with the severe symptoms I would not have sought out and received the medical help that was necessary to receive a diagnosis and have the brain tumor removed," Sanchez told the news source. 

Pregnancy and cancer 
Cancer in Pregnancy explains that many women who have brain tumors deliver healthy babies. Thanks to modern technology, many women who have discovered that they have brain, breast or other forms of cancer are able to have healthy babies. 

Did you discover you had a medical issue while pregnant? If so, what happened? Leave your story here!