The internet is filled with stories of women who sacrificed their own lives to give their unborn baby a chance at life. While these mothers are to be commended for their sacrifice, let us make every effort to “Save Them Both.”
When a pregnant woman receives a cancer diagnosis, there is much to consider. Yet a little known fact is that cancer does not necessarily mean choosing between the life of the baby or the life of the mother. Contrary to popular thought, both can safely live. This aspect of oncological medicine is actually not news at all. Decades of successful, safe treatment of mothers with a cancer diagnosis has occurred for decades – at no danger to any of their unborn children.
As an act of charity, we should dispel a perpetuated lie which becomes deadly for either mother or child. Cancer organizations, as well as ill-informed physicians, too frequently convince women that an abortion is necessary – to save the life of the mother, should she be diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy. According to their recommendation, she otherwise risks her own life in an unnecessary bid to save her baby – leaving a child without a mother.
Dr. Jennifer Litton M.D. at MD Anderson Cancer Center shared that chemotherapy after the first trimester, once all the organs are present, has not shown any significant increase in birth defects for the baby, and the sooner treatment is begun the better the chance of survival for the mother. Radiation, however, is usually postponed until after delivery.
Cancer treatments during pregnancy at cancer treatment facilities such as MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX (www.mdanderson.org) have an astounding success rate of healthy births to cancer stricken mothers. Somehow the news just isn’t getting out to the population at large, despite accounts from numerous medical journals, success stories, and peer contacts. Too many doctors still seem to be in the dark; whether or not this is a matter of willful ignorance or lack of training remains unknown.
So spread the word: cancer is not a death warrant for the baby (through abortion) or the mother. Perhaps suggest the doctor contact the MD Anderson Cancer Center (www.mdanderson.org) or other university medical facility as a starting point to make every effort to “Save Them Both.”