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Review: breast cancer and pregnancy


With an incidence of 0.3–1 per 10,000 pregnancies, breast cancer is the second most common malignant disease (after cervical cancer) associated with pregnancy. Because evidence-based data are lacking, current recommendations derive from nonrandomized experiences. We reviewed the current literature on breast cancer during pregnancy and pregnancy-associated breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer during pregnancy is often made at an advanced stage with limited prognosis. With a few limitations, surgery and chemotherapy can be performed during pregnancy, whereas radiotherapy should be postponed until after delivery. Reports of endocrine treatment during pregnancy are rare and disappointing, but it should be applied after delivery in estrogen/progesterone-receptor-positive cases. Breast cancer during pregnancy remains a multidisciplinary challenge in both therapeutic and ethical aspects. Because experience and guidelines are lacking, individual decisions after intensive discussions with the pregnant patient are necessary.

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Correspondence to Miriam Lenhard.

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The first two authors contributed equally to this article.

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Bauerfeind, I., Lenhard, M., Kahlert, S. et al. Review: breast cancer and pregnancy. Eur Clinics Obstet Gynaecol 1, 95–101 (2005).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Systemic therapy
  • Local therapy
  • Contraception
  • Breastfeeding