Did you know . . . Breast Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy


Most breast cancers in pregnant women are found when a woman notices a lump or change in her breast or during a clinical breast exam. Pregnant women may get a clinical breast exam as part of their prenatal care.

Screening mammography isn’t used in pregnant women because the radiation may harm the fetus. And, younger women (under age 40) usually don’t get screening mammography unless they are at higher risk.

Follow-Up Tests if a Change or Lump is Found

If a lump is found during the first trimester, tests such as breast ultrasound (rather than a mammogram) are used to check for breast cancer.

After the first trimester, a pregnant woman may have a diagnostic mammogram with a shield covering her abdomen to protect the fetus.

Stage at Diagnosis

Breast cancer can be hard to detect in pregnant women, women who have just given birth and women who are breastfeeding. The increased size and change in the texture of the breasts can make smaller cancers hard to feel.

This can delay diagnosis so breast cancers in these women may be diagnosed at a more advanced stage than in non-pregnant women.


There are special treatment concerns for pregnant women who have breast cancer. Although cancer itself does not seem to affect the fetus, some breast cancer treatments can be harmful. Your treatment plan and the timing of your treatments are chosen to treat your cancer as well as protect the fetus.

Source: https://ww5.komen.org