After treatment for breast cancer, it is advised that the woman wait about 2 years before initiating attempts to conceive. However, the longer you wait, the lower the chances of cancer returns, making it safer for you and the baby.
Although this is a weighted medical recommendation, there are reports of women who became pregnant in less time and did not present changes. But, it is important to clarify that the treatment for breast cancer alters estrogen levels, favoring the reappearance of cancer and so the longer you wait to get pregnant, the lower the risk can be.
Why can cancer treatment make pregnancy difficult?
The aggressive treatment against breast cancer, performed with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, can destroy eggs or induce an early menopause, which can make pregnancy difficult and even make the woman infertile.
However, there are many cases of women who have been able to conceive normally after the treatment of breast cancer. Thus, women are always advised to discuss their risk of relapse with their oncologist, and in some cases, counseling can help women with complex issues and uncertainties about postnatal motherhood.
How to improve the chances of getting pregnant?
Since it is not possible to predict whether the woman will be able to conceive, it is advised that young women who wish to have children but who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should withdraw some eggs to freeze, so that in the future they can use the technique of in vitro fertilization if they can not conceive naturally in 1 year of attempts.
Is breastfeeding possible after breast cancer?
Women who have been treated for breast cancer, and have not had to withdraw the breast, can breastfeed without restrictions, because there are no cancer cells that can be transmitted or that affect the health of the baby. However, radiotherapy, in some cases, can damage the cells that produce milk, making breastfeeding difficult.
Women who have had breast cancer in only one breast can also breastfeed normally with a healthy breast. If it is necessary to continue taking cancer drugs, the oncologist can tell you whether or not it is possible to breastfeed, because some medicines can pass into breast milk and breast-feeding is contraindicated.
Can the baby have cancer?
Cancer has a familial involvement and, therefore, children are at a higher risk of developing the same type of cancer, however, this risk is not increased by the breastfeeding process.