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Semin Oncol. 2000 Dec;27(6):699-703.

Psychosocial issues associated with cancer in pregnancy.

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Department of Behavioral Science, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


Although one of 1,000 pregnant women will receive a diagnosis of cancer, there is a dearth of empirical research on the psychosocial impact. Clinical experience suggests that most women are highly distressed at having to cope with cancer during pregnancy. The efficacy of psychologic intervention in relieving emotional distress or in preventing long-term emotional sequelae has not been studied. Women who terminate a pregnancy or experience a spontaneous pregnancy loss during cancer treatment may be particularly vulnerable. Even after cancer treatment is finished, women may have continued anxiety about the health of children exposed in utero to chemotherapy or radiation, about future fertility, and about the safety of another pregnancy. Oncology professionals must educate women about reproductive health after cancer and be aware of indications for a mental health referral.

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