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For Pregnant Women Who Find Out They Have Cancer

For some women, the happiest time in their lives is complicated by the scariest times in their lives as some pregnant women are diagnosed with cancer. As women delay starting or completing their families until older maternal ages, the occurrence of cancer during pregnancy is not uncommon. For example, seven to fifteen percent of breast cancer cases occur in pregnant women making it the most common cancer diagnosed during pregnancy.

At the time Dr Cardonick met her first pregnant patient with cancer, the medical literature could not answer all the relevant questions for the woman facing  cancer-especially with regards to how chemotherapy might affect her unborn child.   Few oncologists or obstetricians treat more than 2 or 3 patients in this situation in an entire career. The only way to gain the necessary knowledge about cancer found and treated during pregnancy is to gather together experience from various hospitals into one single database. This is the purpose of the Cancer and Pregnancy Registry, designed to follow women and their children through diagnosis, treatment, delivery, childhood, adolescence and beyond.

Dr. Elyce Cardonick, a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University collects information about the diagnosis, and treatment of all cancer types in pregnant women. Such information (kept strictly confidential) will help study the effects of a newly diagnosed cancer and its treatment on a concurrent pregnancy. Additionally, the interaction of a pregnancy on the natural history of certain types of cancer will also be studied. Women have even received chemotherapy during pregnancy and delivered healthy infants. Follow up of the women and their children  is ongoing.

For Pregnant Women Who Are Cancer Survivors

Treatments for childhood or adolescent cancers have improved the survival for many women to and beyond the reproductive years. In addition, newer treatments have been gentler on the preservation of fertility. For these reasons, women considering pregnancy not uncommonly have a prior history of cancer treatment. Patients are concerned about the effects of prior treatment on their offspring and are also concerned about the effects of a pregnancy on their risk of cancer recurrence.

Dr. Cardonick is also interested in including pregnant women with a history of cancer in a separate database. In both studies, the health of the women and their children are followed yearly in cooperation with the patient’s oncologist, pediatrician and obstetrician.

Support the Pregnancy & Cancer Registry

Through your support, we can continue to collect information about the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pregnancy, helping women and their physicians make informed decisions about the pregnancy and cancer treatment. In addition, when funds are available we can offer developmental testing to children exposed to chemotherapy in utero or study different aspects of their growth such as dental health. Funding also supports the small staff who help Dr Cardonick gather records, plan new studies, and  answer questions

Together, through research, we can work toward a day when women can focus on their pregnancy, not their cancer.

Click here to make an online donation with Google Checkout and support the Pregnancy and Cancer Registry at Cooper University Hospital.

In this video from the 32nd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, Elyce Cardonick, MD, discusses two poster presentations on childhood development and behavior after in utero exposure to chemotherapy for maternal cancer in pregnancy. View the video.

Pregnant women with any type of cancer can be enrolled.

Dr. Cardonick is available for consultation. This does not involve changing your current oncologist or obstetrician at all. In addition, you  will not need to gather your medical information yourself, just provide written consent for your records to be requested. Enrollment in the Cancer and Pregnancy Registry is voluntary and confidential, and can help you, and newly diagnosed women facing cancer during pregnancy. Even if you have already delivered your baby,  it is not too late to contribute your experience to the growing information about cancer and pregnancy in the Registry.

For more information about the Cancer and Pregnancy Registry please call (877) 635-4499.

FEATURED PARTNERS

Hope for Two… The Pregnant with Cancer Network

hope_for_twoHope for Two…The Pregnant With Cancer Network is an organization dedicated to providing women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with information, support and hope. We serve women in all socioeconomic, ethnic and religious backgrounds world-wide. Volunteers with a history of cancer while pregnant are the mainstays of our support network.

We strive to remove barriers to women obtaining complete and accurate information about their options for dealing with cancer while pregnant We respect and support every woman’s personal decisions without judgment.

Teal Tea Foundation

logo (1)Established in 2008, the Teal Tea Foundation was founded by ovarian cancer survivor Jean Shipos with her family and friends. Its mission is to “help raise ovarian cancer awareness and to support research efforts focused on early detection, treatments, and a cure for ovarian cancer – being dedicated to helping all women with their quality of life and long term recovery”. To support its mission, the Foundation partners with groups such as the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), the Central Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Temple – Fox Chase Cancer Center, Robert Wood Johnson and Pennington Ewing Athletic Club (PEAC) as well as other local organizations.

Online Cancer and Pregnancy Resources

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