ecancermedicalscience

Conference Report

Cancer in pregnancy: an association to make one shiver—highlights from ‘Cancer in pregnancy: 15 years after’, 10–11 October 2019, Milan, Italy

3 Dec 2019
Giovanni Codacci-Pisanelli

Although rare, the treatment of pregnant women with cancer remains a challenging situation that requires strict collaboration between different specialities and experts in different fields. Frequent lack of experience and knowledge about this condition could lead to late diagnosis, imprecise management, suboptimal treatment, and foetal and maternal harm. Until recently, the choice for a woman diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy was either to sacrifice the foetus by administering effective treatment to the mother or to risk potential harm to the mother by withholding chemotherapy.

This conference report aims to summarise all different aspects of cancer and pregnancy discussed at this 2-day meeting. Data on the safety (for mother and child) of chemotherapy administered after the first trimester of pregnancy are accumulating together with the recommendation to bring pregnancy as close as possible to its natural duration. Several aspects such as the poor prognosis of breast cancer diagnosed in the year after delivery and the delayed growth of foetuses exposed to chemotherapy despite the quasi-normal duration of pregnancy require further investigation. In this apparently tragic situation, results are excellent and comforting data accumulate so that we can transmit an optimistic feeling to women facing cancer during pregnancy.

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