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New Delhi, Aug 24 : In a medical miracle, doctors here helped a 39-year-old woman with cervical cancer to give birth to a healthy baby girl, while also treating her cancer, which presently is in remission.
Marina Ch Ralte, 39, resident of Mizoram, was 16 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with a 7-cm long tumour in the uterine cervix.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child, doctors at Apollo Cancer Centre (ACC), Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, carefully administered a total of 7 cycles of chemotherapy to Marina.
Throughout the chemotherapy process, the team conducted regular foetal monitoring to closely track the baby’s development and ensure her health too.
While initially Marina faced significant bleeding complications, after the second cycle of chemotherapy, her bleeding ceased, demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment.
As her pregnancy progressed, the medical team decided on a strategic plan for the safe delivery of the child. Marina underwent a lower segment caesarean section (LSCS) during her 37th week of pregnancy, resulting in the birth of a healthy baby girl.
“Marina’s journey was a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of comprehensive medical care. Our priority was to safeguard both the mother’s health and the developing baby. We administered safe chemotherapy drugs after monitoring the baby’s growth, ensuring that Marina received optimal treatment,” said Dr P.K. Das, Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology at ACC, in a statement.
“Pregnancy with cancer is rare. These cases are challenging because sometimes medical termination is not feasible, or it may be a precious pregnancy. We have to ensure the safety of the unborn child while administering the continuation of the treatment. Our approach was to meticulously tailor her treatment, considering not just her own health but
also the well-being of her unborn child,” said Dr Mano Bhadauria, Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncology at the hospital.
Following her successful delivery, she continued with her chemo, and radiation therapy followed by brachytherapy, a specialised form of treatment that delivers radiation therapy directly to the cancer site.
The treatment also gave time for her gravid uterus to return to its normal size. Her cancer is presently in remission, and she now enjoys the joys of motherhood with a healthy child by her side, the doctors said.
“Facing cancer while carrying my little one was extremely challenging,” said Marina, a cancer winner, and a proud mother.
“I not only found the right treatment, but I also came across an unwavering support that helped me see a new ray of hope,” she added thanking the doctors.
Cervical cancer takes centre stage as a notable malignancy during pregnancy, exhibiting estimated incidences spanning from 0.8 to 1.5 cases per 10,000 births.
A recent study reveals that 1-3 per cent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer are either pregnant or in the postpartum phase. The majority of these cases come to light during prenatal care or within a year after childbirth.
Most of the patients receive their diagnosis at an early stage of the disease. Among gynaecological malignant tumours during pregnancy, cervical cancer commands the forefront, comprising a significant 71.6 per cent, trailed by ovarian malignant tumours at 7.0 per cent.