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ask: Melanoma and Pregnancy

By sfisher
 
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I had stage 3 melanoma 6 years ago. So far I have not had any reoccurence. I would like to have a baby but I am concerned that the increase in hormones would cause the cancer to come back. Does anyone have any feedback or related situation?

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Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Dear sfisher

Thank you so much for your question and welcome! Congratulations on being 6 years free and clear!

Your question is an excellent one, since the relation of hormones and melanomas have been the topic of much research for a long time.

At last year's Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Marcia S. Driscoll, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, “Over the years, there has been ongoing controversy concerning the effect of hormones on melanoma,” said Dr. Driscoll. “Some researchers speculated that melanomas may grow rapidly and spread due to the hormones associated with pregnancy. While we know that hormones may impact other types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian cancer, a review of the research on pregnancy and melanoma shows there is no evidence that pregnancy has an adverse influence either on the prognosis of melanoma or the risk of developing melanoma.”
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504210204.htm

She also went on to say that the level of cancer is also an important factor. Since you had a very serious cancer stage (3), then she advises women to wait several years before trying for a baby. At 6 years in remission, you may have a good chance. Less "serious" melanomas may only need two years to wait before attempting pregnancy. And the woman's individual and specific case is obviously all-important.

You can read the rest of the article on the Science Daily here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504210204.htm

However, bear in mind that many doctors are still very cautious about pregnancy after a stage 3 melanoma.

Have you talked to your dermatologist/cancer specialist about this? What did he/she say?

Please update us - we look forward to talking with you more!

March 10, 2010 - 2:18pm
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