Melanoma And Your Pregnancy: What You Should Know

When you find out that you are pregnant, your focus shifts to caring for and protecting your unborn child as it grows. This also involves taking care of your own health as well. However, there are some health conditions that may leave you confused and unsure of how to proceed with care and treatment that will protect both your health and the health of your unborn child. If you are diagnosed with melanoma while you are pregnant, this will be one such incident that could leave you unsure of what to do. Get to know some of the facts about handling a melanoma diagnosis during pregnancy so that you can make the right decisions and choices for you.

Be Sure That Your Oncologist and Ob/Gyn Work Together

When you are trying to determine a course of action to treat your melanoma while pregnant, it is vital that all of your medical care providers are in communication with one another and work together to protect your health and that of your unborn child. This means that you will likely have to facilitate this communication.

Give both doctors each other's contact information and ask that they run any proposed course of treatment by one another to discuss the risks. An oncologist may know the best way to fight your melanoma, but they are not an expert in obstetrics and gynecology like your ob/gyn. By working together, they can determine all of the risks involved in certain cancer treatments during pregnancy.

Waiting Until After Pregnancy To Treat Your Melanoma Is Not A Good Idea

Many women, out of fear for the health of their unborn child, may opt to wait to treat their melanoma until after they have their baby. While this may be the simplest solution in the mother's mind, it can actually have serious consequences for her health. Melanoma is by far the most serious type of skin cancer. It tends to spread more quickly and be more aggressive than other forms of skin cancer.

And when you are pregnant and diagnosed, it may spread even faster during those nine months. This is possibly due to the pregnancy hormones in the woman's body. Researchers who have studied melanoma and pregnancy think this may be one of the reasons that pregnant women are more likely to have metastasis (melanoma cells elsewhere in the body).

Be sure to begin treatment as soon as you find out you have melanoma. During pregnancy, this can include some forms of chemotherapy as well as surgery to remove the melanoma cells. Once you give birth, the treatments for your cancer can become more aggressive as needed. The earlier you start treatment, the more likely you are to slow the progression and have a positive treatment outcome.

Now that you know more about melanoma and pregnancy, you can be prepared in case you find yourself in this unfortunate position. For more information, contact a clinic of obstetrics and gynecology in your area.