Breast Ultrasound During Pregnancy: Can it Detect Cancer

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Pregnancy is the most crucial phase in the life of every woman. The three trimester’s each has their own excitements, the first gives a chance to hear the young ones heartbeat, the second reveals the sex and finally the third and the much awaited phase is when the mother feels the child responding to her feelings and actions. It is an incredible journey that starts for both to be parents.

Pregnancy though brings the anticipation of the new life yet along with it comes the risk of certain health issues and risk that are to be properly tackled.  From the intense morning sickness and back pains, pregnancy brings with it the risk of cancer as well. Breast cancer and uterus cancer are both the most likely form of cancer that women suffer. Though it is a scientifically proven fact that pregnancy may reduce the risk of cancer on a long term bases but increases the risk of cancer on a short term base.

Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Ultrasound During Pregnancy

 

Breast Ultrasound – Is it safe?

Ultrasound is the inevitable part of this parental journey. It not only helps to detect the growth of the foetus but also helps the doctor warn the patients in case of any abnormal development in the womb. With the advancement in technology, examination of the amniotic fluid is the first step that every doctor prescribes to their patients. A thorough and regular check of the body will not only be beneficial for the child but the mother as well. Expecting mothers often raise the question of timely breast development to be sure that they can give timely feeds to their new born. Breast ultrasound is considered to be a safe method to monitor the overall health of a pregnant woman as well as to check proper heaviness of the breast and activation of the milk producing ostrogen hormone. Ultrasound does not use radiations while in activation. Ultrasounds are preferred over mammography and are the preliminary stage of check-up.

Ultrasound to detect cancer

Ultrasound in the scientific terminology is an imaging test that sends sound waves through the breast leading to the generation of visible images. The lack of use of any form of radiation makes ultrasound a much safer and advisable option for pregnant ladies. Ultrasound as a standalone cannot detect breast cancer rather it is used to compliments other screening processes in case the doctor feels any obstruction in the external examinations. Ultrasound gives proper images any growth in the body, it fails to determine whether the same is cancerous or not. Mammography and further screening tests like biopsy are conducted by the doctors declare if the growth is cancerous and further if it is malignant or benign.

Breast Cancer Risk

During pregnancy the breast are bound to undergo changes. To accommodate the milk duct the breasts become heavy and feel as though they are growing lumpy. This aspect of physical changes often hides any form of cystic growth in the body. It is believed that breast cancer is much easier to be detected during pregnancy as a result of the multiple check-ups that the mother undergoes repeatedly. Following the ultrasound, breast mammography and screening is the modus operandi for these pregnant or non-pregnant cases. The first trimester it generally caters the warning for the risk of cancer. The growth of suspicious lumps is the warning signal but what is reassuring to know is that not all these lumps may be cancerous.

It must be kept in mind that if any patient witnesses such outer or inner growth they must never wait till the child is born or when they stop feeding. Such growths must be checked as soon as possible to avoid any risk to the mother or the infant.

According to a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute 12.4% of women in a country generally suffer from breast cancer during any stage of their life.

Some precautions one can take during pregnancy to prevent any cancerous growth are;

  • Limit the sitting time. Mothers should try and take a small and slow walk during the day. This ensures proper blood circulation to all the body organs and maintains good health.
  • Consumption of blue berries which is a rich source of folic acid, antioxidants and cancer fighting properties help the mother in the overall growth as well.
  • Breastfeeding should never be second guessed by any mother. It is not only beneficial for the growth of the baby but it also prevents lump formations in the breasts.
  • Sugar intake must be regulated of all expecting mothers. High amount of sugar increases the risk of cancer.
  • Eat the best multi grains. Whole grains are the best source of carbs which will keep the digestive tract healthy and studies conducted by the American Cancer Society also proves that whole grain reduces the risk of cancer.
  • A proper time gap between two pregnancies is a must for all mothers to not only maintain personal health but also the proper growth of the unborn child as well.
  • Never skip appointments. Proper gynaecological tests and check-ups are a must during pregnancy. They will help prevent and detect any abnormal growth before it reaches an incurable state.
  • Those patients who have prior family history must take extra precautions during pregnancy to reduce risk of any future troubles.
  • Stress on food products rich in antioxidants. They will not only add a glow to the skin but also nourish the body with other essential vitamins needed by the body to maintain a strong immunity system and fight against any possible disease that may threaten to infect the body.

Thus it will not be wrong to say that ultrasound can be used as a safe and secure method to detect and prevent the growth of any possible suspicious growth in the body especially during pregnancy.

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!

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