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Detecting Breast Cancer During Pregnancy

By Sneha A

Being diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy is not something that is witnessed very often but since women now are choosing to give birth comparatively in the later stages than before, this could become a norm in the future.

One of the biggest problems with breast cancer during pregnancy is that due to the hormonal changes i.e. higher progesterone and estrogen levels, breasts which are being prepared for lactation are already thicker and tender with a growth in size too. Hence, how to detect the lumps caused due to breast cancer when a woman is pregnant?

Benefits Of Eating Saffron During Pregnancy

Fret not, as there are ways to detect breast cancer when one is pregnant. Every woman should get herself evaluated by her doctor for any possible symptoms of breast cancer as during pregnancy, this disease has a tendency to grow at a much faster speed.

Women tend to ignore any kind of discomfort caused during pregnancy considering it to be a normal response of the body. But any kind of changes that appear in the breasts should be taken seriously. An early detection can save you from disastrous consequences. Prevention is always better than cure and read on to know more about how to detect breast cancer while pregnant.

Tests That You Must Undergo Before Conceiving

- Self Evaluation

Even though it is not very accurate during pregnancy, it does not mean that it loses its importance. If you find any sort of abnormal lump, swelling or any kind of fluid or bloody discharge from your nipples, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Being cautious will not hurt.

- Mammography

Mammography uses a small amount of x rays to examine the insides of the breasts. When done during pregnancy, covering up of the abdomen is a must to save the fetus from the radiation. It is very helpful in detecting cancer at a very early stage and can be treated easily.

- Ultrasonography

An ultrasound is done so as to differentiate between the cystic and the solid breast tissue. However, a biopsy is of extreme importance if something is detected to check the malignancy of the tumor, if present. It is absolutely safe for the fetus as it does not carry a risk of radiation exposure.

- Breast Biopsy

In case of a breast biopsy, a small part of affected tissue or fluid is collected from the body and is examined under a microscope. Then evaluation is done to confirm the presence of breast cancer. It is one of the most accurate methods of diagnosing breast cancer in a patient.

- Breast MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging of breasts is used to detect breast cancer during pregnancy with the help magnets and radio waves. This process gives a vivid and detailed cross sectional image of the organ and its tissues. These images help the doctors to conclude whether cancer cells in breasts are present or not.

- Pathology

A detailed pathology report can help in the assessment of the condition of a woman’s breasts during pregnancy. The imbalances in the hormones and other body conditions can help in detecting the chances of breast cancer in a patient.

Read more about: prenatal breast cancer
Story first published: Sunday, November 8, 2015, 21:04 [IST]
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