Mothers and Breast Cancer

For mothers with breast cancer

If you are a mother of young children and you have breast cancer, it can be hard to tell your children what you are going through. Remember that children can pick up on their parents' feelings, and may be confused if you do not talk to them about your condition. Telling your children in simple terms about your cancer and sharing some of your feelings will help them understand the changes around them. Every mother is different, and your parenting style may be different from someone else's. But in your own way, try to share with your children what you are going through. Also, trying to maintain your usual routine may help your children adjust to the changes. Talking about your breast cancer can help both you and your children be supportive and cope with the disease.

Hearing the pitter-patter of little feet?
In the past, doctors would advise women who have had breast cancer not to have children. Doctors thought that the added estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy may promote the growth of breast cancer. Yet, there are no studies that have clearly shown a link between pregnancy and recurrence of breast cancer. Today, many doctors say its fine for women who are free of cancer and not undergoing treatment to become pregnant. Some suggest waiting 2 to 5 years after diagnosis – the most likely period of recurrence – to assure that breast cancer has not returned.

Some women around age 40 who are closer to menopause find that after chemotherapy their periods do not return. For those who are still in their 20s and 30s and who still have periods after chemotherapy, the ability to have children is unaffected. If you are hoping to have children after cancer treatment, talk with your doctor about your options.

Source: The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation