How Do You Know What You Don’t Know…If You Don’t Know?

May 6, 2010

One of the reasons that some oncologists are not comfortable treating pregnant cancer patients with chemo is that the number of documented cases  is relatively small. Only one in 3,000 women experience cancer and pregnancy at the same time. Although I don’t remember exactly how,  early on in my treatment I learned that I could participate in a study that would collect data about me and my child for several years to help analyze the impact of chemo in pregnant women. Elyce Cardonick, a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician at Cooper University is at the helm of building this database.

So after filling out endless forms about my own doctors and my daughter’s, I’m proud to say that I have given Dr. Cardonick permission to study me and my daughter over the long term. We want to be counted. We want other women that get pregnant while they have cancer to receive a better answer than, “We just don’t know how chemo is going to affect your baby.”

After reviewing what I could on the internet, I learned that no correlation between chemo and birth defects has been confirmed thus far. That, while it may seem completely unbelievable, somehow the placenta shields babies from exposure to the powerful poison that enables cancer patients to get well.

So, if there are any chemomamas out there, please consider joining Dr. Cardonick’s study. The data collected over the years will give future women that become pregnant with cancer the peace of mind that their babies will survive and thrive despite chemotherapy. Strength in numbers. Go forth chemomamas. Rock on with your bad selves.


One comment

  1. What a great study! And, you, go and rock on too my dear.

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