Pregnant Women Exposure to People Undergoing Therapy

Last Modified: April 14, 2007

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am 16 weeks pregnant and taking care of my mother who is being treated for pancreatic cancer. She will begin chemotherapy in a few weeks. Are there any risks for me or the baby to be around this situation?

Answer

Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

While receiving chemotherapy or external beam radiation therapy, your mother is not radioactive or toxic to you or your baby. Most chemotherapy is excreted from the body within 48 hours through the urine and stool, but could be present in the vomitus. Therefore, you should avoid being the person to clean up any of these substances (i.e. if she has an accident or vomits), since we just can't be sure how much of the drug is left in the excrement. Otherwise, there are no special precautions recommended.


News
Counseling African-American women found to reduce environmental tobacco smoke exposure

Mar 10, 2010 - A cognitive-behavioral intervention used in pregnant African-American women reduces their environmental tobacco smoke exposure and the incidence of very low birth weight and very preterm birth among their newborns, according to a study published online March 8 in Pediatrics.



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