Cancer treatment during pregnancy does not have any adverse health effects on the wellbeing of the child either before birth or in their later life.
Joint research conducted in Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic investigated the effects of pregnancy chemotherapy on children aged 18 months or older.
The study analysed the general heath, school performance and sporting prowess of young people whose mothers received chemotherapy while they were pregnant and found that any abnormalities were equivalent to the rate in the wider population.
"We believe these results do allow us to make a recommendation about chemotherapy in pregnancy: pregnant women with cancer do not need to delay their cancer treatment or terminate," said Professor Frederic Amant, who worked on the study.
Cancer support charity Macmillan states that some chemotherapy drugs can affect fertility in patients and mothers should cease breastfeeding while receiving treatment to avoid passing the drugs on to their baby.
© Adfero Ltd
Cancer treatment news : 2 October 2011