What happens if an expectant mother is diagnosed with cervical cancer? For a 29-year-old woman in the 32nd week of her pregnancy it meant both a caesarean and an operation on cervical cancer.
A medical team from Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital successfully conducted the operations.
The mother, whose name was not identified, was diagnosed with the cancer seven weeks before the operations. The hospital said on Monday both mother and baby are sound.
Cervical cancer during pregnancy is rare — the odds are one in every 1,000 to 5,000 cases, according to the hospital.
The woman was diagnosed with the cancer during the middle of her pregnancy. It was decided that the best option was to operate as soon as possible.
The challenge for the patient and her doctors was that if she decided to terminate her pregnancy, she would lose her last chance to be pregnant, as the womb would have to be removed — but if she went ahead immediately, it would be too early to deliver the baby as most of its organs would not be fully developed.
The medical team decided to carry out chemotherapy for the woman from the 28th week of the pregnancy to control the size of her tumor, and also allowing extra time for the fetus to develop.
By the 32nd week of her pregnancy, the fetus had grown and the tumor had shrunk. A team of doctors from multiple departments of the hospital then carried out the operations.