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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.
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Forum > Cancer - Active Topics: Cancer - Active Topics
Cisplatin Therapy and Breastfeeding

Date: 2007-05-01

Post-partum mom of 32 week premature infant to start 6 week course of radiation and cisplatum for treatment of cervical cancer. Would like to breast feed once the 6 week treatment course is complete. How long would she need to wait after treatment course to restart feeds?


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.

Radiation is not sustained after its termination and there is no reason not to breastfeed afterward.

Cisplatin is a potent and very toxic anticancer medication. In general, women are not recommended to breastfeed while undergoing cisplatin therapy unless the breastmilk can be monitored and tested for levels of platinum (Hale 2006). Due to the long elimination half life of the drug (5-10 days), it would take approximately 2 months for the drug to be removed from the body. However, because the drug has extremely high protein binding (over 99%), only minimal levels are excreted into milk. Critically, cisplatin?s absorption through the gut is marginal.

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