• Home
  • Pregnancy &           
Breastfeeding
  • Bookshop
  • Contact us
  • Donate now
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Please read

Our Helplines

1-877-439-2744 Motherisk Helpline
1-800-436-8477 Morning Sickness
1-877-327-4636 Alcohol and Substance
1-866-937-7678 Exercise in Pregnancy
1-888-246-5840 HIV and HIV Treatment
416-813-6780 Motherisk Helpline

The Cancer in Pregnancy Forum

Archived Questions and Answers
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.
Submit a question
Forum > Radition During Pregnancy: Radiation During Pregnancy
Radiotherapy to the neck

CCoPE
Date: 2002-08-26

Question:
My patient has been diagnosed recently with nasopharyngeal carcinoma and will start radiotherapy treatment soon. Unfortunately she is also pregnant now in the first trimester.Will the radiation therapy affect the fetus to warrant an abortion? We have had 3 patients with naso-pharingeal carcinoma that had a major resection (Commando operation?). Is surgical removal an option for this tumor?

Answer:
A distance of over 30 cm from the field edges to the uterus (in this case radiotherapy to the head and neck) should result in an exposure to the embryo-fetus of only 4 to 20 cGy (the acceptable dose is up to 10 cGy). Lead shielding over the uterus should be used to reduce the dose, and with this direct radiotherapy to the pharynx should not be a risk. A dosimetry of scatter to the pelvis (with shielding) should be performed as the radiation is planned. If the scatter to the pelvis is low there is no need for termination. The plans for radiation may be altered to minimize such scatter. More details on radiotherapy are provided in the Cancer in Pregnancy section of the Motherisk website.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional [Valid RSS]

* - "MOTHERISK - Treating the mother - Protecting the unborn" is an official mark of The Hospital for Sick Children. All rights reserved.

The information on this website is not intended as a substitute for the advice and care of your doctor or other health-care provider. Always consult your doctor if you have any questions about exposures during pregnancy and before you take any medications.

Copyright © 1999-2013 The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). All rights reserved.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is a health-care, teaching and research centre dedicated exclusively to children; affiliated with the University of Toronto. For general inquires please call: 416-813-1500.

  |  Contact SickKids  |  Terms of Use