May 1st 2005
Drs. Patridge and Schapira setout to review breast cancerand pregnancy, discuss treatmentoptions for breast cancer duringpregnancy, and summarize the availableevidence regarding safety of pregnancyafter breast cancer. This is asubstantial undertaking. They beginby reviewing the epidemiologic dataindicating an early increase in risk ofbreast cancer development after pregnancyand the likely long-term protectiveeffect of pregnancy on breastcancer risks. The subsequent focus oftheir review is on breast cancer duringpregnancy, a relatively rare occurrence.In a study from California,Smith et al indicated that the frequencyof breast cancer concurrent withpregnancy was 1.3 per 10,000 livesingleton births. The authors notea frequently quoted figure of 1 in 3,000pregnancies.