MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Pregnancy does not decrease breast cancer survival

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Pregnancy does not decrease breast cancer survival




Young women who develop breast cancer during their pregnancy, or who are diagnosed within one year of their pregnancy, have no difference in rates of local recurrence, distant metastases and overall survival in comparison to other young women with the disease, as per scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

However, the largest single-institution study to look at pregnant patients with breast cancer finds that women with Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer (PABC), are more likely to be diagnosed later with advanced stages of the disease and, thus, have necessary therapy delayed.

The findings appear in the March 15 issue of the journal Cancer



Pregnancy does not decrease  breast cancer survival

"Breast cancer in young women is a highly aggressive disease, and it's important that we study it in hopes of making a difference in terms of therapy," said Beth Beadle, M.D., a radiation oncology resident at M. D. Anderson and the study's first author. "When we looked at our young breast cancer population, a relatively large percentage had disease affiliated with pregnancy. We thought it would be really instructive to review our data to determine how we can best serve these women".

It's estimated that up to 3.8 percent of pregnancies are complicated by breast cancer, and approximately 10 percent of patients with breast cancer under age 40 develop the disease during pregnancy, said the researchers. As the age for first and subsequent pregnancies increases and intersects with advances in imaging and screening, this statistic will only continue to climb, explained George Perkins, M.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology.

"Because we see care for large volume of patients who are young, as well as those who are young and pregnant, we wanted to see if there was something additive going on that is attributed to pregnancy, or if the response to therapy and behavior of the disease is a phenomenon of young age itself," said Perkins, the study's senior author.

For the retrospective study, Beadle, Perkins and their colleagues evaluated the records of 652 M. D. Anderson patients with breast cancer, all were 35-years-old or younger at the time of diagnosis and treated at M. D. Anderson between 1973 and 2006. Of those women, 104 (15.6 percent) had PABC - 51 developed their cancer during their pregnancy and 53 developed the disease within one year post-pregnancy. Median follow-up for PABC patients in comparison to non-PABC patients was 95.5 months versus 91 months respectively.

When comparing the PABC and the non-PABC cohorts, the scientists found no statistical difference between the 10-year rates of: locoregional recurrence (23.4 percent, PABC; 19.2 percent, non-PABC), metastasis (45.1, percent PABC; 38.9 percent, non-PABC), or overall survival (64.6 percent, PABC; 64.8 percent, non-PABC).

"What we did find, however, is that women with PABC presented with more advanced disease, both in the breast and lymph nodes," said Beadle. "These women seem to have a significant delay in diagnosis, and their symptoms were not identified as breast cancer for an extended period of time - putting them at a disadvantage by withholding necessary therapy." .

In an analysis of the 51 PABC patients who developed breast cancer during their pregnancy, 26 received some form of therapy; 25 received no treatment. Of those 25, 22 patients (88 percent) had disease symptoms that were not reviewed; three had a breast cancer diagnosis but were advised not to begin therapy until after delivery.

In PABC patients, the overall survival in those who received treatment was 78.7 percent, in comparison to 44.7 percent in those who receive none, though scientists caution that these statistics reflect a small sample size. Regardless, the scientists say it's important to note that there was no difference in the statistic by decade, reiterating there's still progress to be made in terms of diagnosing and treating the disease during pregnancy.

"Women really need to be aware of changes to their breasts that persist, even during pregnancy and to discuss these changes immediately with their doctor," said Perkins. "The study also proves that there's a vital opportunity for physicians to focus on complete breast care during a patient's pregnancy, and should include cancer as a possible diagnosis. Persistent complaints should be monitored aggressively, with breast exams, imaging and biopsy, all being conducted as necessary".

M. D. Anderson has a long history of being at the forefront of treating pregnant women for breast cancer. In 1992, Richard Theriault, D.O., professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, opened the first protocol examining a chemotherapeutic regimen for the management of these patients. He later published seminal studies proving that the regimen was safe for both pregnant mother and unborn child; it has since been adopted as the standard of care. M. D. Anderson has the largest active registry in the world following the health of pregnant patients with breast cancer and their children.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Young women who develop breast cancer during their pregnancy, or who are diagnosed within one year of their pregnancy, have no difference in rates of local recurrence, distant metastases and overall survival in comparison to other young women with the disease, as per scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Medicineworld.org: Pregnancy does not decrease breast cancer survival

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.