Clinical Decision Making in the Management of Breast Cancer Diagnosed During Pregnancy: A Review and Case Series Analysis

J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2021 Nov 23. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2021.0054. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Purpose: To highlight the various options available for the management of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy by describing the investigations, treatment, and outcomes in relation to these women. Methods: This is a narrative review of the literature to describe the issues related to pregnancy and obstetric management in patients with breast cancer. It incorporates a description of six cases of women (aged 29-39 years) with a first-time diagnosis of breast cancer during pregnancy to illustrate a number of issues that need to be considered during different trimesters. Results: Of the six cases, two were diagnosed in each pregnancy trimester. A painless breast mass was the presenting symptom in five cases (83%). In all cases, breast ultrasound was the primary diagnostic imaging procedure. Chest X-ray was performed in 3 (50%) and computed tomography in 2 (33%). A core needle biopsy was performed in all cases, and sentinel lymph node biopsy in 3 (50%) cases. Four women had grade 3 tumor; five had estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Four women had breast surgery during pregnancy. Five women gave birth after the induction of labor and/or cesarean section. In all six cases, a multidisciplinary team was involved in the delivery of health care. Conclusion: Regular breast examinations are needed for all pregnant woman during prenatal visits. Breast ultrasonography should be offered if a breast lump or other symptoms are detected. Breast surgery can be safely performed during all pregnancy trimesters, and some systemic therapeutic agents can be administered safely in the second and third trimesters.

Keywords: breast cancer; clinical decision making; gestational breast cancer; management; pregnancy.