Detection of breast tumors during pregnancy is difficult because of hormone-influenced tissue engorgement and the tendency to limit attention to the pregnancy itself. Eight cases of breast cancer during pregnancy were seen among 12,500 pregnancies in a five-year period. All diagnoses were confirmed by surgical biopsy. Five of the eight patients detected their own tumors. Two requested abortion, but prophylactic abortion did not appear to improve outcome in the one patient with advanced disease. Seven of eight patients were between 35–40 years of age. Although based on limited experience, a plan for managing breast cancer during pregnancy is suggested. It appears that a more favorable prognosis for cure and longer periods of remission can be achieved with better breast examinations, responsible screening techniques, early diagnosis, and prompt therapy.
© 1988 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists