First of all, pregnant women usually don’t develop cervical cancer. Even so, it can still occur in which case there are two chances. If the cancer is diagnosed in a very early stage you can still go through with the pregnancy with very little risk. If the cancer is not found on time the risks grow exponentially. In this later case the woman should take the decision of terminating or not the pregnancy together with her oncologist. Chances may still vary from case to case. Doctors will look at the fetus’s condition and the impact on the reproductive system.
If the woman decides to go through with the pregnancy all doctors recommend that the baby is delivered through a cesarean section and followed by hysterectomy. If the woman is less fortunate the pregnancy will probably be terminated through radiation therapy or hysterectomy.
How can we be sure that going though with the pregnancy is a valid option? If the cancer is in stage 0 you can go on with this investigation. The next conditions necessary for considering this option are that the cancer cells are confined to only the cervix, that the cancer is less that 3 mm deep within the tissue and that the site is not larger than 10 mm in any direction. You also need to make sure that there are no signs of cancer in the blood vessels or the lymph. If all these variables are on your side you can hope for the best.
If being in stage 0 is not the case there is still a chance for keeping the baby. For example, if the woman chooses to undergo a radical trachelectomy in order to treat the cancer, she still has part of her cervix intact, just enough to support a pregnancy.Howrever, this procedure also greatly increases the risk to miscarry the baby or of having a premature birth. This procedure requires invariably that the baby is born through Caesarean section.
The decision for a treatment also depends on how far of the woman is with the pregnancy at the moment of diagnosis. If she is over 3 months pregnant the doctor will most likely recommend that she goes through with the pregnancy before starting the treatment. This of course also depends on the extent to which the cancer has spread. Caesarean should be performed as soon as the baby develops enough to be born, followed as said above by the complete removal of the uterus.
More than 6 months is too long a time to postpone treatment, so if you are less than three months pregnant you are most likely to start treatment as soon as possible, before the cancer spreads. This will also mean that you will probably lose the baby.
This matter has to be thought about with careful consideration and your own life should be a priority as that of the baby’s also depends on your own.
Cervical cancer and pregnancy