After surgery, you will be given some form of systemic therapy (injections or oral pills) to prevent the cancerous cells from spreading through the body. These therapies may include chemotherapy, endocrine therapy or targeted therapy, although the treatment you receive will depend on your cancer type and stage of pregnancy.
Chemotherapy is avoided during the first trimester and approximately the last three weeks of pregnancy (after 35 weeks). This is because chemotherapy can decrease blood counts leading to potential complications during delivery. If chemotherapy is administered during the pregnancy, delivery should be completed at least three weeks after the last cycle to reduce the possibility of complications. In some cases, labour is induced at or around 35 weeks to facilitate breast cancer treatments. Tamoxifen (hormonal therapy) and Herceptin (or trastuzuman) are both avoided during pregnancy but can be taken after delivery.
The goal of this step in your treatment is to prevent metastases (spreading) and recurrence. Information about the treatment types--including who receives them--along with additional links to prepare yourself can be found on this page.