Cervical cancer treatment while pregnant

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: August 4, 2002

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am 6 months pregnant and was told that I have cervical cancer. I go back to the oncologist in a month to have another colposcopy done, to see what grade the cancer is. I need to know what I should and shouldn't do everyday activities while I'm still pregnant?  

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

You have asked a very difficult question. You need to talk with your gynecologist about whether you have truly been diagnosed with cervical cancer, or just with precancerous cells (dysplasia, or CIN--cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). Depending on the situation, precancerous cells can be followed throughout pregnancy with colposcopy and treated after delivery. If you have precancerous cells on your cervix, I would not recommend any special precautions unless you have vaginal bleeding. True invasive cervical cancer is a different problem, and depending on the size of the tumor, the length of your pregnancy, and your personal wishes, a plan for delivery and for treatment of the cancer needs to be discussed with your obstetrician as well as with a gynecologic oncologist. Each patient's situation is individualized based on the factors I just mentioned.


News
Study Urges More Clinical Research on Gynecologic Testing

Oct 24, 2014 - While professional guidelines call for human papillomavirus testing in the follow-up of treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, there is insufficient clinical research to guide the clinician in the selection of the test to use, according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.



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