Audio: Cancer Chemotherapy During Pregnancy
Pregnant women rarely get cancer. But when they do, they face tough choices for how to treat it, particularly if the doctor recommends chemotherapy. That’s because chemotherapy can affect the development of their fetus, especially if it is administered during the first trimester.
To aid such patients and their doctors in their decision making, Kembra Howdeshell and her colleagues at the U.S. National Toxicology Program consolidated data from a wide range of studies of pregnant patients who underwent chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment.
She gave a talk about her team’s work at the Research Triangle Park chapter of Sigma Xi (which publishes American Scientist) where I spoke with her about it.
As with most health decisions, using chemotherapy while pregnant is a decision that is best made on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, the team’s study and resulting monograph offer no medical advice, but are intended only to serve as a resource to patients and their doctors.
This post is published in From the Staff
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