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Breast cancer pregnancy "safe" for babies

Thursday August 16th, 2012

Women with breast cancer can safely have babies after undergoing chemotherapy, researchers said today.

A study of 400 women found no ill-effects on babies linked to taking cancer drugs.

The only difference, according to the German researchers, was that the babies were on average of lower birth weight than other babies.

Writing in The Lancet, the researchers say there was no sign of effects such as hair loss or blood disorders that might be caused by chemotherapy.

However about half the women with breast cancer delivered prematurely and many suffered complications in pregnancy.

Researcher Professor Sibylle Loibl, of the German Breast Group, said today: "If our findings are confirmed by other studies, breast cancer during pregnancy could be treated as it is in non-pregnant women without putting foetal and maternal outcomes at substantially increased risk."*

Professor Loibl said doctors caring for pregnant women with breast cancer needed to do as much as possible to ensure they completed the full length of pregnancy.

Writing in the same journal Dr Olivier Mir, of the Cancer Associated with Pregnancy Network, France, says long-term research on these children is still needed.

The Lancet August 16 2012

Tags: Cancer | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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