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LunaChick's avatar

Five months pregnant and diagnosed with cancer - what to do?

Asked by LunaChick (1373 points ) February 9th, 2010

I attend class with a woman who just found out her pregnant sister was diagnosed with cancer (cervical or uterine, I’m not sure which). If you were the woman in question, what would you do? If you were a friend or family member, would you express your opinion on what you think she should do? What about her husband – does he have a say? He may lose his wife, child or both.

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22 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Find the best doctors you can. Trust them. Pray.

Oxymoron's avatar

How sad. I would abort the baby. Wait until I’m cured to try and have a baby again. You cannot do chemo while being pregnant. I would definitely think of myself before the “baby”.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

If I was the woman, I would do whatever I could to save my own life. Would it be easy? No, not necessarily. But husband and wife have a relationship already, whereas neither of them are parents yet. I think losing the wife would be much harder on the husband than losing an unborn baby. It might sound cold to some, but reality isn’t always warm.

If I was friend/family, I would support both the husband and wife – unless the woman chose to possibly sacrifice her life so they baby could live. Because, I’m sorry… I just think that’s stupid. Personal opinion, but it’s how I feel.

Her husband should have some kind of say. She should at least be willing enough to truly listen to him and how he feels about everything. Ultimately though, it comes down to what the woman wants to do.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Don’t tell other people(out of your family) about this. She’ll feel unsafe and ashamed in public. Just do your best and let the time decides your fate(at least you’ve done your best).

PandoraBoxx's avatar

No one is entitled to express an opinion to the pregnant woman on this subject at all. The decision is between the pregnant woman, her spouse/SO and the doctor. No one else has a vested interest in the decision.

Cancer does not automatically = death sentence, and 5 month pregnancy does not automatically mean abortion in order to treat cancer. Generally what happens is both the progression of the cancer is monitored, and the development of baby is monitored, and the baby is induced at a point where it can, with care, develop. Obviously, the longer the fetus can stay where it belongs, the better.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Really? A best friend, brother, mother or father isn’t allowed to say that they don’t want her to die? I’m pretty sure those people are entitled to express an opinion. It’s messy, but hey… that’s life.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What a tragic situation. As an outsider, I would simply suggest they do exactly as the doctors recommend, and I would say no more.

MrsDufresne's avatar

Being a cancer survivor myself, I would say, she should educate herself about her particular kind of cancer, remember that the word cancer does not automatically equal a death sentence, and surround herself with people that are optimistic, hopeful and knowledgeable about it. Being told you have cancer is a life changing experience. I wish her and her family, peace, strength and hope.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Saying you don’t want some one to die is different than saying abort the fetus/don’t abort the fetus. Who in their right mind would say, “Gee, Sis. You should choose death.”

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What people should say is, “Here, I’ll help pay your rent/bills/etc. so that you can concentrate on doing what you need to do to get through this.” That’s helpful. Airing an opinion on abort/don’t abort, that’s not helpful.

filmfann's avatar

The cancer treatment may mean having a hysterectomy, which means this baby is the last chance she will have at giving birth.
My advice would be to deliver the baby early (say 7½ months), and begin treatment.

By the way, my niece went through this exact scenario.

ETpro's avatar

One thing I would certainly not do is tell this woman what she should do as if I somehow knew better than she does how to live inside her body. I’d offer her whatever support and commiseration I could give her, and back her decisions based on what her Oncologist says it the best course of action for her.

Cruiser's avatar

Many cancers are treatable…not enough info here. Her doctor will give her sound advice and until she decides see if you can be there for her…offer to help her study and stay focused on her class work. Positive thoughts pay off big dividends.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I feel that I’m not entitled to an opinion on this. Just wishing her the best possible outcome.also radiation treatment would affect the fetus as well

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I hope she finds an oncologist that is knowledgeable about pregnancy and tx options. Given the location of her cancer, a hysterectomy might be an answer. I would want to know how aggressive the cancer is being. At 5 mo, the baby would be kicking and although I can not predict what I’d do, I would really want a chance at keeping the baby but if the doctors would say my cancer is moving quickly, I’d have to abort. I have 2 other children that I have a responsibility to.

MagsRags's avatar

It’s much more likely to be cervical than uterine cancer. Cervical cancer is usually slow growing and non-invasive cervical cancer aka cervical carcinoma in situ can actually be treated and cured without hysterectomy. As @PandoraBoxx and other have said, her care providers will be counseling her in detail about possible risks in both directions. If she continues the pregnancy, they’ll time the birth to balance baby’s need to grow in the womb with mom’s need to start treatment for her cancer.

takito6909's avatar

In my opinion i would have the baby… DO NOT ABORT THE BABY! When you give birth to the Baby, start smoking medical marijuana.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@takito6909 You’re all kinds of… Interesting.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Based on the bits of info…...if it were me (only my opinion for myself….okay?)

I would try to have the baby….but I would change my diet gently (with a baby anything radical would be too extreme)...I would go to the desert or stay in a place by myself (and away from all the toxic crazy people that will be waiting for me or my baby to croak…so many people hasten the death of someone with their negative comments and talking about death all the time). I would find an MD who also advocated alternative medicine and place myself in his/her care…like Gabriel Cousens in Arizona. But there are others.

I have had so many family members die of cancer…only to have chemo hasten their death, not heal them. Some people do fine on chemo, but most do not have a good track record. Besides, I wouldn’t want my baby filled with radiation.

I would pray, meditate, change my diet, take herbs, take long walks, find out “why?” and “why now?” and “what is the lesson that this is attempting to teach me?”....but most of all…..seek peace and peacefulness…and let go of all the resentment, old grief, old stuff that is affecting my condition…..I would prepare myself to live, not to die…because usually when one is struck with cancer, there is something inside one that has not been addressed…something deeper that needs to be healed.

Only my opinion….in truth, everyone has their own journey and it really is folly to think that anyone could even begin to know her heart….I hope and pray for her well-being.

Judi's avatar

only 2 months away from the chance of the baby surviving well outside the womb. I would wait no questions asked, but I would never judge someone who made a different decision. These questions are so hard and so personal.

life_after_2012's avatar

if that were my friend i wouldn’t handle it well. there is no way to handle something like that you just spend every second you can with that person. people can die so fast from cancer, if you love them stay by their side.

plethora's avatar

This doctor is in Nashville TN…...check out his site here

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