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The Cancer in Pregnancy Forum

Archived Questions and Answers
This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Specific Cancer: Specific Cancer
Risk of Re-occurrence of Malignant Melanoma during Pregnancy

CCoPE
Date: 2006-10-16

Question:
I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in Sept 2004, when a mole was removed from my left ankle, then followed a sentinel node biopsy of my left groin, which were found to be tumorous but not enlarged, and then a complete groin disection showed no further tumors. I started a cancer vax trial (which has since been withdrawn) and I have had no reoccurances for 2 years. I have regular check ups and xrays. I also take sea minerals, wheat grass, vitamins, juicing and an anti toxin diet. What risks would i have by becoming pregnant now, would there be a greater risk of the cancer reoccuring? My specialist has said to wait as long as possible, but he has not studied any literature and admits that is just "rule of thumb" I already have 2 children, aged 4 and 2 1/2, but would like to have another child. Thank you Jayne

Answer:
There is no published evidence to suggest that pregnancy affects the natural history of melanoma. The risk of the recurrence of melanoma is basically independent of pregnancy. To the extent that you understand that you may have a recurrence-there is no objective reason not to conceive. With respect to the effect of pregnancy on the prognosis of melanoma, this has been a focus of interest in the medical literature for years. When matched for age, anatomic site and stage, most studies have not demonstrated a difference in survival. However, some studies have demonstrated a shorter disease free interval in pregnant patients compared to controls. It has been suggested that small patient numbers and variable follow-up time in these studies may have limited the ability to detect pregnancy related changes in outcome. It is important to determine the safety of the natural products taken during pregnancy to ensure no adverse events.

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