Unfortunately, there have been several cases where a woman finds out that she has cervical cancer, when she is pregnant. What can be done in such cases?
How can the woman seek treatment, while at the same time keeping in mind the well being of the fetus growing inside her? What is the standard accepted procedure in such cases?
If the woman has just had a pap smear done, and the physician tells her that she is in the initial stages of cervical cancer, she need not panic at all. The physician will probably keep an eye on her, and wait for the pregnancy to reach full term, before initiating any treatment.
In general, changes take a long time to develop, therefore the woman is in no immediate danger, provided the physicians keep track of the progression of the cancer, and make sure that the baby within the womb is fine.
If, on the other hand, the woman already has cervical cancer, and she has become pregnant, complications may arise. The woman will be faced with making certain difficult choices, choices that concern her, her baby, and her future.
These are the two recommended cervical cancer treatments: radiotherapy, or surgery.Radiotherapy will normally harm the baby, and therefore, doctors will probably advice the woman not to go in for this treatment.
Surgery in the case of cervical cancer necessitates the removal of the affected part, and if the cancer has progressed into the cervix, and the pregnancy has gone beyond twenty eight weeks, the woman can be induced into labor and into delivering the baby earlier, so that she can begin treatment at the earliest.
However, if the pregnancy is less than twenty eight weeks old, the woman cannot be induced, and this means that she will have to wait to deliver the baby at twenty eight weeks. Some women may decide to terminate the pregnancy, so that they may begin treatment immediately.
Remember; in most cases, a woman who has had treatment for cervical cancer will, unfortunately, be unable to become pregnant, and even if she wants to do so, she must make sure that there are no cancerous cells left in her womb after the treatment she has undergone.
The woman will have to opt for getting pregnant with the help of treatments such as ‘cone biopsy’, ‘LLETZ’, or ‘radial trachelectomy’.
The woman has to work in close coordination and cooperation with her doctor if she wants to fight against cervical cancer complications during pregnancy.