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Clin Radiol. 2009 Sep;64(9):857-71. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2008.08.020. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Cancer presenting during pregnancy: radiological perspectives.

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Department of Radiology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.


Malignancy presenting during pregnancy is rare. When it does, there are important considerations and challenges for the radiologist. The physiological changes of pregnancy may mask signs and symptoms of malignancy leading to delayed presentation. Endocrine and physiological changes during pregnancy can interact with tumour biology to alter the behaviour and patterns of growth of certain tumours. The timing and choice of imaging technique pose potential risks to the foetus, but this must be weighed against the risks to both mother and foetus of inadequate investigation or misdiagnosis. This review outlines the general principles and approach to imaging the pregnant patient with suspected malignancy, following which there is a more detailed discussion of the effects of pregnancy on tumour biology and presentation of specific tumours. Imaging strategies are discussed for the different entities, and where possible, evidence-based imaging recommendations are made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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