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The Cancer in Pregnancy Forum

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This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding
Cisplatinum and Breastfeeding

CCoPE
Date: 2002-02-14

Question:
I am hoping you can help me. I was just diagnosed with vaginal cancer. I will be receiving radiation and some chemotherapy. The drug used for my chemotherapy will be cis platinum 40 mg and this will be given to me once a week on a Wednesday for the full 5 weeks of radiation. Do you have any information about when the cis platinum will be out of my system and for it to be safe to breastfeed again? My doctor thought it would take about 36 hours to leave my system and it be okay to breastfeed then. I was wondering if this would be your understanding as well. Also, they said the radiation and the drug eprex should not be of concern with regards to breastfeeding. Is this true?

Answer:
The following information should not replace the assessment and advice you have been receiving from your physician (cancer specialist, obstetrician, or any other healthcare provider). It is offered for your information only

Unfortunately we do not have a lot of information about cisplatinum use by breastfeeding women. We have a couple of reports that indicate that the drug will get into milk. Since none of these mothers continued to breastfeed we do not know if the drug that gets into the milk will harm the baby. Cisplatinum is a cancer drug and might be very toxic, even in small amounts. Although a lot of cisplatinum will be gone from your body in 36 hours it can actually take over 2 weeks for the drug to be completely eliminated. In general, it is not recommended that women breastfeed while receiving chemotherapy. The World Health Organization also uses this recommendation.

The Eprex (erythropoietin) will not get into the breastmilk to be ingested by the baby and the radiation is not expected to be a risk for the baby either.

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