Breast feeding while receiving radiation to the pelvis

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: March 3, 2002

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am getting ready to take external radiation therapy to my pelvic region. Can I still breast feed my 5 month old?  


Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

If the radiation is only to your pelvis, breast-feeding is safe. If you need to take medication for nausea or diarrhea that can occur with radiation, please be sure to review the individual medications with your pediatrician to be sure that you may take them while breast-feeding. Also, if you are taking chemotherapy, you should not breast-feed unless it is cleared by both your medical oncologist and pediatrician.

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