Chapter 1 - Cancer Treatment during Pregnancy

The diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy is relatively uncommon. However, with the rising trend of delaying childbearing, more cancer patients are expected to be diagnosed during the course of gestation. The exact incidence is unknown, although it is estimated that around 1 in 1000 pregnancies is complicated with cancer. Pregnant patients are often diagnosed with cancer at relatively late clinical stages, which makes delaying therapy until delivery not feasible in the majority of cases. Induction of abortion could be proposed, even if there is no evidence supporting a therapeutic role for this approach. In addition, it is considered ethically unacceptable by some individuals and cultural groups. In this chapter, we will provide key tips on managing pregnant cancer patients and discuss in greater detail the most common tumours diagnosed during pregnancy.

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Last update: 30 October 2013