Pregnancy associated breast cancer

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 18 Oct 2020

Pregnancy associated breast cancer (PABC) is usually defined as a breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or one year following delivery. PABC occurs in one out of every 1500-10,000 pregnancies 5-6 and represents up to 3% of all breast malignancies. The incidence may be increasing due to many women delaying pregnancy over recent years. 

Ultrasound is a usual initial imaging modality in evaluating the breast in a pregnant or lactating patient.

Despite dense breast associated with pregnancy, pregnancy associated breast cancers are often detectable on mammography 2. Pregnancy associated breast cancer is however often advanced at diagnosis and associated with poor prognosis.   

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