Pregnant women who are diagnosed with cancer do not need to delay treatment or end their pregnancy, a new study found.
The study included 129 children in Europe whose mothers were diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy, as well as a control group of 129 children born to women without cancer. The children’s physical and mental health were assessed when they were 18 months and 3 years of age.
Among the children whose mothers were diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy, 69 percent were exposed to chemotherapy before birth, about 3 percent to radiation therapy and 5.4 percent to both chemotherapy and radiation. A small number were exposed to trastuzumab (Herceptin) or interferon (less than 1 percent each), while about 10 percent were exposed to surgery alone.