Pregnancy following breast cancer
Affiliation and adress for correspondence

1 Klinika Onkologii i Chorób Wewnętrznych, Centrum Onkologii – Instytut im. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie w Warszawie.
Kierownik: dr n. med. Beata Jagielska
2 Klinika Ginekologii Onkologicznej, Centrum Onkologii – Instytut im. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie w Warszawie.
Kierownik: prof. dr hab. n. med. Beata Śpiewankiewicz
Correspondence to: Anna Skrzypczyk-Ostaszewicz, Klinika Onkologii i Chorób Wewnętrznych, Centrum Onkologii –
Instytut im. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie, ul. Roentgena 5, 02-781 Warszawa, tel.: +48 22 546 24 03, e-mail: anna.skrzypczyk@gmail.com
Source of financing: Department own sources

CURR. GYNECOL. ONCOL. 2014, 12 (1), p. 25–30
DOI: 10.15557/CGO.2014.0002
ABSTRACT

Many young patients having undergone radical treatment of breast cancer start considering motherhood at some point. The desire to become a mother may appear within a differing period from the completion of cancer therapy, yet it seems that regardless of the period, it is almost inevitably accompanied by major-level anxiety and stress. The decision about whether to become pregnant turns out a very difficult one, due to numerous doubts, uncertainties, and myths that have been commonly accepted concerning the safety of pregnancy for the future mother (i.e. the risk of cancer recurrence while pregnant), the effect of the undergone chemotherapy on the fetus, and breastfeeding-related issues. At the moment the disease is diagnosed, it is extremely rare for a young woman to immediately look out into her future in terms other than mere survival chances. The shock and the fear which are bound with the diagnosis hardly allow to ponder on the woman’s functioning following the treatment, or on her chances to return to all social roles. In some patients the fear of cancer recurrence and of the potential inability to raise the child themselves is so grave, it never allows them to make the decision to become mothers. Psycho-oncologic counseling, therefore, may have crucial impact over the choices made by breast cancer survivors, and not only should it be made available while patients are still tackling the diagnosis and treatment, but well beyond that period, throughout the healing process and follow-up monitoring time. The recent reports from the past few years seem to clarify many doubts and uncertainties, and this paper brings together the most important results of the new research available.

Keywords: pregnancy, breast cancer, motherhood, recurrence, estrogen receptor