Tumors during pregnancy are rare, but they can happen. Tumors can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer. Malignant ones are. The most common cancers in pregnancy are breast cancer, cervical cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma. Cancer itself rarely harms the baby, and some cancer treatments are safe during pregnancy. You and your health care provider will work together to find the best treatment. Your options will depend on how far along the pregnancy is, as well as the type, size, and stage of your cancer.
Another type of tumor that women can get is called a gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD). It happens when a fertilized egg doesn't become a fetus. GTD is not always easy to find. It is usually benign, but some types can be malignant. The most common type of GTD is a molar pregnancy. In its early stages, it may look like a normal pregnancy. You should see your health care provider if you have vaginal bleeding (not menstrual bleeding).
Treatment depends on the type of tumor, whether it has spread to other places, and your overall health.
- Cancer during Pregnancy (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- General Information about Breast Cancer and Pregnancy (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- General Information about Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- How Is Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Diagnosed? (American Cancer Society)
- Stages of Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors and Neoplasia (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Treatment (National Cancer Institute)
- Treatment of Breast Cancer during Pregnancy (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- Treatment Options for Hodgkin Lymphoma during Pregnancy (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Do We Know What Causes Gestational Trophoblastic Disease? (American Cancer Society)
- Other Considerations for Pregnancy and Breast Cancer (National Cancer Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Cancer and Pregnancy (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Hydatidiform Mole (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Good news on the active management of pregnant cancer patients.
- Article: Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia After Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Normalization Following Molar Pregnancy:...
- Article: Pulmonary metastases increase chemotherapy resistance and recurrence of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.
- Tumors and Pregnancy -- see more articles