Breast cancer is the most common malignancy associated with pregnancy and is a rare but well-recognized complication.1 A California registry study showed an incidence of 1.3 breast cancers diagnosed per 10,000 live births.2 It is hypothesized that as more women continue to delay childbearing, the incidence of breast cancer in pregnancy will increase.3 Because of the lack of clinical experience with breast cancer in the setting of pregnancy, given its relative infrequency, many patients and physicians perceive the diagnosis to be one that puts the life of the mother at odds with that of the fetus, but available data suggest that termination of the pregnancy does not improve the outcome for pregnant women with breast cancer.4 Often diagnosis is delayed because neither patient nor physician suspects malignancy. This report presents a recent case of a young primigravid woman with a newly appreciated breast mass seen at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as a means of discussing diagnostic considerations, therapeutic options, and supportive care available to the practitioner when managing a pregnant patient with breast cancer.
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