Women Finding out they have Cancer before Pregnancy

CBS news reports on which testing can detect cancer in pregnant moms. Which tests do you definitely need to get done when you are pregnant?

CBS news focuses on the importance of pregnant women getting the proper prenatal testing.

Certain types of tests can reveal markers of cancer in pregnant moms.

“When Marin Mejia was pregnant with her son Owen, one such blood test that picks up DNA from mother and baby came back showing abnormal results. Further testing showed the baby was healthy,” according to CBS. While the baby was healthy Mrs. Mejia was not.

The doctors investigated further to find out what was wrong with Mejia. She was thirty-nine at the time. After more testing doctors found out that Mejia had anal cancer when her pregnancy began. During that time she was 39 and had experienced bleeding, which she thought was due to hemorrhoids.

New research from Tufts Medical Center found evidence that these prenatal tests can detect cancers in women who are pregnant.

Illumina, a maker of one non-invasive prenatal test, funded the new study; it looked at eight women who had abnormal test results. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Diana Bianchi, who serves on an advisory panel for the company, was the author of the study. She said, “If there is cancer, the tumor is shedding DNA into the mother's blood as well and that is what is accounting for this imbalance.”

Doctors say that Mrs. Mejia's cancer was pretty advanced and it quickly spread to her lymph nodes and lungs. Physicians finally delivered baby Owen at 32 weeks that Mrs. Mejia could begin chemotherapy and radiation.

Mrs. Mejia told reporters that she was thankful for every minute she got to spend with them. She also said she refuses to believe that there is going to be any other outcome than 'it's all going to be okay' because the alternative is unfortunately not something she is willing to think about.

How is she doing now?

Recent testing shows that the cancerous nodules in Mrs. Mejia's lungs are shrinking, and she hopes to get more good news after she gets more scans later in August.

Read the source article here.

Gerry Oginski
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