Despite being rare, the incidence of pregnancy-related cancer is expected to rise as women continue to delay childbearing and give birth later in their reproductive years. In this broad category, tumors like breast cancer, dermatological neoplasia and cervical cancer are most common and tend to arise in women of childbearing age. All pregnant women with clinical and cytologic suspicion of cervical cancer, except for squamous atypia or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, should undergo colposcopy, with or without biopsy, the latter being avoided if possible due to possible complications which, although rare, may involve preterm labor initiation.
Some studies have attempted to assimilate comparable results of USG with MRI during the gestational period by determining the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS) in comparison to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In order to identify the proper way to diagnose and treat the disease, because of the complexity due to pregnancy, a multidisciplinary team consisting of a gynecologist, medical and surgical oncologist, and radiologist should be assembled. Both maternal and fetal wellbeing should be taken into consideration when the medical team must choose among termination of pregnancy, delay of maternal treatment, and iatrogenic preterm delivery. Psychological counseling also plays an important role and due to the sensitivity of the issue, should continue through gestation and the postpartum.
In order to develop optimal guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, and outcome issues, large scale prospective studies are needed, but feasibility may be limited due to the scarcity of cervical cancer cases associated with pregnancy.
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Balalau, Denisa O.; Sima, Romina M.; Bacalbasa, Nicolae; Banu, Petrisor; Bălălău, Cristian; Ples, Liana; and Stanescu, Anca D.
"High-grade cervical dysplasia in pregnancy – psychological and medical challenges,"
Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/jmms/vol4/iss1/6