For Pregnant Women Who Find Out They Have Cancer
For some women, the happiest time in their lives is complicated by the scariest times in their lives as some pregnant women are diagnosed with cancer. As women delay starting or completing their families until older maternal ages, the occurrence of cancer during pregnancy is not uncommon. For example, seven to fifteen percent of breast cancer cases occur in pregnant women making it the most common cancer diagnosed during pregnancy.
The medical literature currently cannot answer all the relevant questions for the woman facing this cancer or other types during pregnancy. Few oncologists or obstetricians treat more than 2 or 3 patients in this situation in an entire career. The only way to gain the necessary knowledge about cancer found and treated during pregnancy is to gather together experience from various hospitals into one single database.
Dr. Elyce Cardonick, a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician at Cooper is doing just that. She collects information about the diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pregnant women. Such information (kept strictly confidential) will help study the effects of a newly diagnosed cancer and its treatment on a concurrent pregnancy. Additionally, the interaction of a pregnancy on the natural history of certain types of cancer will also be studied. Some women have even received chemotherapy during pregnancy and delivered healthy infants.
For Pregnant Women Who Are Cancer Survivors
Treatments for childhood or adolescent cancers have improved the survival for many women to and beyond the reproductive years. In addition, newer treatments have been gentler on the preservation of fertility. For these reasons, women considering pregnancy not uncommonly have a prior history of cancer treatment. Patients are concerned about the effects of prior treatment on their offspring and are also concerned about the effects of a pregnancy on their risk of cancer recurrence.
Dr. Cardonick is also interested in including pregnant women with a history of cancer in a separate database. In both studies, the health of the women and their children are followed yearly in cooperation with the patient’s oncologist, pediatrician and obstetrician.
Dr. Cardonick is available for consultation. Even if you have already delivered your baby, or know of someone with cancer who has delivered, it is not too late to contribute your experience to the growing information about cancer and pregnancy in the database.
For more information about the pregnancy and cancer registry or to become a participant, please call (877) 635-4499.
Support the Pregnancy & Cancer Registry
Through your support, we can continue to collect information about the diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pregnant women. By gathering data from various hospitals into one single database, we are able to better study the effects of newly diagnosed cancers and its effect on concurrent pregnancies as well as the interaction of pregnancy on the natural history of certain types of cancer.
Together, through research, we can work toward a day when women can focus on their pregnancy, not their cancer.
In this video from the 32nd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, Elyce Cardonick, MD, discusses two poster presentations on childhood development and behavior after in utero exposure to chemotherapy for maternal cancer in pregnancy. View the video.
Pregnant with Cancer
Hope for Two...The Pregnant With Cancer Network is an organization dedicated to providing women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with information, support and hope. We serve women in all socioeconomic, ethnic and religious backgrounds world-wide. Volunteers with a history of cancer while pregnant are the mainstays of our support network. We strive to remove barriers to women obtaining complete and accurate information about their options for dealing with cancer while pregnant We respect and support every woman’s personal decisions without judgment.
Teal Tea Foundation
The Oncofertility Consortium
Exploring and expanding options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors.
Online Cancer and Pregnancy Resources
Young Survival Coalition (YSC)
Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Founded by three young survivors in 1998, YSC began as a grassroots organization to advocate on behalf of all young women diagnosed with breast cancer to increase their length and quality of life. With local networks across the United States, YSC provides free resources, connections and educational materials to support and empower young women affected by breast cancer and ensure they are not left to face breast cancer alone. Visit youngsurvival.org to find out more.
Melanoma International Foundation
The Melanoma International Foundation has the mission of SAVING LIVES NOW from melanoma. We provide hope and guidance to melanoma patients and families. We are on the cutting edge of creating and supporting the most effective melanoma programs for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of melanoma.
Life Raft Group
The Life Raft Group (LRG) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization providing support, through information, education, and innovative research to patients with a rare cancer called GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor).
Oncology Nursing Society
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is a professional organization of more than 33,000 registered nurses and other healthcare providers dedicated to excellence in patient care, education, research, and administration in oncology nursing. It's also the largest professional oncology association in the world.
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