In 2008, Christina Applegate famously had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction following her breast cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2008. Two years later, she announced her pregnancy.
It seems like a moment of triumph. As a breast cancer survivor and activist, Applegate is bringing life into a body that just two years ago struggled so hard, but is it safe?
Indeed, research has shown that pregnancy may actually protect women against a recurrence of cancer.
How's that for triumph?
My mother died of breast cancer when I was 16, so for me, these kinds of studies are always bittersweet. I wish that no one ever had to have the disease, but I am so happy that people can still go on to live normal lives.
The endings are not always so happy, though and if you are dealing with cancer and you would like to have a baby in the future, ABC News listed the following pieces of advice:
- Women in the late 30's may wish to freeze their eggs so they can wait until after treatment to go forward with a pregnancy.
- Anyone in a more advanced stage who also needs chemotherapy is advised not to get pregnant.
- Tamoxifen (a treatment drug) is associated with birth defects. If you take it, experts advise waiting.
- Women carrying a genetic mutation (like Applegate) that predisposes them to cancer have an elevated risk for other cancers, too. They should be screened thoroughly.
Bearing all of this in mind, pregnancy can be safe, so at least that is one less thing that breast cancer takes away from women.
Would you have a baby after cancer?
Image via Facebook.com