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Case report
Gestational breast cancer: current challenges in staging and treatment of breast cancer
  1. Aimee Schad1,
  2. Jessica Slostad2 and
  3. Ruta Rao2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States
  2. 2Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplant, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aimee Schad; aimee_e_schad{at}


Gestational breast cancer (GBC) is the most common form of invasive cancer in pregnancy and has unique challenges in both staging and treatment given the dual goal of appropriate cancer management and minimising the risk of fetal toxicity. A 38-year-old woman with no significant medical history and 21 weeks pregnant presented with a palpable right breast mass. She was diagnosed with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive infiltrating ductal carcinoma with advanced disease. The patient underwent treatment; however, unfortunately, she passed away after developing devastating distant disease recurrence.

We highlight both the challenges and current guidelines for management of GBC. Our goal is to discuss the current limitations of GBC management and the necessity of further investigation for safe novel imaging and treatment modalities for pregnant women. It is crucial to increase awareness across multiple subspecialities, as a multidisciplinary team is necessary for proper treatment of GBC.

  • cancer intervention
  • cancer - see oncology
  • pregnancy
  • breast cancer
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  • Contributors The corresponding author, AS was the primary writer of the manuscript, with significant assistance from both JS and RR. There were no other contributors outside of the original medical team that helped care for the patient.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.

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