Management of cancer in pregnancy

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2015 Jul;29(5):741-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.02.006. Epub 2015 Mar 4.


A multidisciplinary discussion is necessary to tackle a complex and infrequent medical problem such as cancer occurring during pregnancy. Pregnancy does not predispose to cancer, but cancers occurring in women of reproductive age are encountered during pregnancy. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging are the preferred staging examinations, but also a sentinel node staging procedure is possible during pregnancy. Standard cancer treatment is aimed for. Operations can safely be performed during pregnancy, but surgery of genital cancers can be challenging. The observation that chemotherapy administered during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, that is, after the period of organogenesis, has little effect on the long-term outcome of children adds to the therapeutic armamentarium during pregnancy. Cancer treatment during pregnancy adds in the continuation of the pregnancy and the prevention of prematurity.

Keywords: cancer; chemotherapy; pregnancy; radiotherapy; surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / therapy*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative


  • Antineoplastic Agents