Respite for Pregnant Women Undergoing Chemotherapy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 21, 2012

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Respite for Pregnant Women Undergoing ChemotherapyTo the respite of pregnant women who are undergoing chemotherapy for treating cancer, researchers have come up with positive outcomes. The study says that babies exposed to treatment in second/third trimesters are safe from disease, and also highlights the fact that chemotherapy do not lead to health problems or developmental delays in childhood.

Pregnant women who have had three to four cycles of chemotherapy during pregnancy term were the subjects, wherein the trial assessed general health, intelligence and behavioral development of unborn baby enclosed within the womb. Medical research came to the conclusion that exposure of baby to the treatment after first trimester has nothing to do with developmental and health issues of unborn baby. Among children who were born prematurely, intelligence scores were significantly lower, cause of which was identified to be the early delivery.

Researcher Frederic Amant, MD, PhD, of Belgium’s Leuven Cancer Institute cautions for avoiding premature delivery to the extent possible in the condition. Rapidly becoming a practice, the practice is not foolproof, which is getting acceptance quite rapidly.  The drug methotrexate is a part of some chemotherapy treatments, should be avoided as it raises risk of birth defects.

However, there is a general agreement that chemotherapy must be avoided during first the first trimester of pregnancy term, when there are maximum changes of developing birth defects. After escaping the first trimester, risk from cancer drugs becomes substantially less. These chemotherapy findings are reassuring as long-term complications ruled for babies during second and third trimester.

In a nutshell, terminating pregnancy due to the chemotherapy is not necessary. Moreover, there is no reason to delay treatment of cancer when pregnant due to fear of pregnancy. One must not make urgency for delivery in order to avoid exposing fetus to chemotherapy treatment.



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