Cervical cancer treatment while pregnant

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: August 4, 2002


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am 6 months pregnant and was told that I have cervical cancer. I go back to the oncologist in a month to have another colposcopy done, to see what grade the cancer is. I need to know what I should and shouldn't do everyday activities while I'm still pregnant?  


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

You have asked a very difficult question. You need to talk with your gynecologist about whether you have truly been diagnosed with cervical cancer, or just with precancerous cells (dysplasia, or CIN--cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). Depending on the situation, precancerous cells can be followed throughout pregnancy with colposcopy and treated after delivery. If you have precancerous cells on your cervix, I would not recommend any special precautions unless you have vaginal bleeding. True invasive cervical cancer is a different problem, and depending on the size of the tumor, the length of your pregnancy, and your personal wishes, a plan for delivery and for treatment of the cancer needs to be discussed with your obstetrician as well as with a gynecologic oncologist. Each patient's situation is individualized based on the factors I just mentioned.