Whether pregnancy after diagnosis of melanoma affects a woman's prognosis is unknown. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to answer this question.
To evaluate the effect of a subsequent pregnancy on cause-specific death and recurrence of melanomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Five databases (Cochrane Database, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PubMed) were searched for studies assessing the effect of subsequent pregnancy on risk of melanoma death or recurrence. The authors collated all longitudinal studies of women of childbearing age diagnosed with incident melanoma that compared melanoma outcomes among those who became pregnant after the diagnosis and those who did not. Individual study effect estimates were pooled when available using the weighted average method, and other findings were summarized narratively.
Of 304 citations identified, 5 studies met the inclusion criteria. All 5 assessed melanoma death, and 2 of the 5 assessed recurrence. There was no significant effect of subsequent pregnancy on melanoma mortality after 11 to 20 years of follow-up (pooled hazard ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.60–1.09) and no significant differences in melanoma recurrence. Only one study included patients with all stages of melanoma beyond Stage 1.
Current evidence does not support the hypothesis that pregnancy subsequent to successful treatment of melanoma worsens prognosis. However, relevant data are sparse, suggesting that a precautionary approach is warranted regarding childbearing advice to melanoma survivors.