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Breast cancer patient delivers baby safely after chemo
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2020.06.09 15:01
  • Updated 2020.06.09 15:01
  • comments 0

A patient with breast cancer recently gave birth to a baby boy safely, even after receiving chemotherapy, a hospital in Seoul said.

The patient found breast cancer after getting pregnant and delivered a baby on May 22 at Ewha Womans University Medical Center, the hospital said. During pregnancy, she had to receive general anesthesia to undergo breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy twice.

Professor Kim Youn-ju of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Ewha Womans University Medical Center

The patient could touch a lump of the breast before pregnancy. After conception, the lump grew. She sought medical help from Woo Joo-hyun, a professor of the Breast and Thyroid Thyroid Cancer Center at the hospital. After medical examinations, she was diagnosed with cancer in the left breast.

From the 23rd week of her pregnancy, the patient started to get treatment from Professor Kim Youn-ju of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the hospital.

Woo and Kim discussed treatment directions for the health of the mother and the fetus. Then, they performed mastectomy with general anesthesia in February. After the surgery went successful, the doctors continued to monitor the condition of the fetus and proceeded with the second chemotherapy.

“A pregnant woman with cancer can receive selective chemotherapy in the second and the third trimester,” Professor Woo said. “The patient could not avoid chemotherapy due to the late stage of cancer and the tumor’s aggressiveness. We decided to give her chemo during pregnancy as she had three months between surgery and baby delivery.”

The patient was discharged after chemotherapy but broke her right arm at home. She had to go through another surgery with general anesthesia. Professor Kwon Ji-eun of Orthopedic Surgery at the hospital performed open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).

“When we treat pregnant patients, we have to pay extra attention because we need to check how each test, anesthesia, surgery, and medication affects the fetus and see if there is any complication,” Professor Kim said. As the patient underwent two surgeries with general anesthesia and two chemo sessions, the medical staff watched her with a full alert during her entire pregnancy, she added.

The patient gave birth to a 2.5 kg boy safely by Caesarean section on May 22, after 35 weeks and six days of pregnancy. The baby was born prematurely and was admitted to the intensive care unit for respiratory assistance and further examination.

The baby had apnea and bradycardia from time to time and received conservative treatment. As medical exams on the baby did not show anything specific, he is expected to be discharged after observation for a little more.


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