Radiation and pregnancy — The Bump
High-Risk Pregnancy

Radiation and pregnancy

There is a wonderful woman in my book club who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is doing very well and her prognosis is excellent, by the way.  She will begin radiation therapy soon.  I have heard that pregnant women should stay away from someone undergoing this treatment.  Does anyone know if that is accurate?  I have also heard that it depends on the type of radiation therapy that they are undergoing.  I don't want to ask because I don't want to make her feel like she shouldn't go.  If I shouldn't be around her, then I will just simply make an excuse and never mention anything.

Re: Radiation and pregnancy

  • I just recently heard something about this for the first time, but I don't remember the specifics.  I do think it depends on the exact type of treatment, and that it is for only a limited period of time following the treatment.  I'd ask your dr.
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  • Check into it, although I know that usually it is only if they have a radiated implant put in.  But it is wise to just ask if you need to avoid your friend for a day or so after a treatment.  I don't think so, but am not sure.
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  • When I was pregnant with my son my dad was dying of cancer and was going through radiation. I was with him all the time. I have actually never heard of this but it doesn't hurt to ask your doctor.
  • No. The only type you stay away from is thyroid radiation from a pill they swallow.
  • As an expecting radiologic technologist I can assure you there are very little types of radiation harmful to you.  Although I am not a radiation therapist, I am still pretty certain there are not any types of radiation therapy for breast cancer that is "active".  Once your friend leaves her treatment there is no risk to anyone.  Her radiation is only active while she is recieving treatment in the office.  There are types of radiation therapy for thyroid (as mentioned by PP) that are active and radiation seeds implanted for prostate cancer that are always active, but these are the only types I am aware of.  Radiation has to be active to be harmful. 

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