BioScience Trends. 2021;15(5):276-282. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01187)

Breast cancer and pregnancy: Why special considerations prior to treatment are needed in multidisciplinary care

Zhang MD, Zhou J, Wang L


Breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy poses ethical and professional challenges. Clinical management of that condition should ensure the safety of both the mother and fetus. Clinical trials on breast cancer exclude pregnant women, so sufficient evidence with which to formulate guidelines for the management of these patients is lacking. Failing to undergo a breast examination during pregnancy, breast symptoms explained by physiological changes such as pregnancy, and unnecessary abortions after the diagnosis of breast cancer lead to worse outcomes for these patients. Multidisciplinary teams including breast surgeons, obstetricians, radiologists, pathologists, and anesthesiologists need to make an early diagnosis and comprehensively evaluate patients in different gestational weeks and with different stages of breast cancer in order to optimize outcomes.

KEYWORDS: breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy, multidisciplinary teams, special considerations

Full Text: