Breast cancer patient gives birth while undergoing chemotherapy

November 28, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

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Moving from a state inhabited by less than 2 million people to a city that’s home to more than twice those numbers is quite a shock, and little drives that point home more for me than the news.  Since I’ve spent the last few days parked on the couch with my laptop (I’ve got strep throat — it’s my right to stay in my pajamas all day), I’ve seen video footage of arson, murder, suicide, a hostage crisis at the mall, and a building collapsing in on itself.  It can be downright numbing to see all those bad vibes. 

But today, I just heard the most uplifting news from that little clinic down the road:  University of Texas-MD Anderson breast cancer patient Linda Sanchez gave birth to healthy baby Isabella Marie last night after having been in chemotherapy while pregnant.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Isabella became the 70th baby born under a University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center program that once was controversial, but which last year formed the basis of the first national guidelines for the treatment of pregnant women with breast cancer. Until this program, women with cancer who learned they were pregnant were told to abort.

[Isabella] was delivered with a full head of hair, a trademark of babies born in the program and a sign that the chemotherapy doesn’t have the toxic effect on them that leaves their mothers bald.

Sanchez will resume chemotherapy next week, then have surgery at its conclusion. She had six rounds of one therapy, then was off treatment for 7 1/2 weeks before Monday’s delivery. Ultrasounds showed the cancer, which has shrunk to about one-third its original size, didn’t increase during that time.

News like this is truly amazing to me, and I’m sure that everyone at the MDA is buzzing right now.  I’m supposed to be volunteering there today, but opted out due to this annoying cough-wheeze.  Congratulations to the Sanchez family! 

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