During pregnancy a lot of different, harmful substances can pass to the child. Smoking, alcohol, and drugs are among the variety of different substances that can cause devastating effects to the unborn child. The baby be born with a wide array of disorders, from congenital disorders, to drug addiction, to fetal alcohol syndrome. The result can be very damaging and may even cause the death of the child. However, among the numerous different things that can effect an unborn child, cancer originating from the mother has been talked about, argued about, but only now are there definitive answers.
Researches have discovered the cancer can be transmitted to the child, from the mother during pregnancy. A 28-year-old Japanese woman gave birth to a baby girl. Everything appeared fine until a month after the birth. The mother developed vaginal bleeding and would be diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Although she began chemotherapy she would die only 19 days later after developing encephalitis. To make matters worse the baby would be taken to hospital at only 11 months of age, after she developed a large swell in her right cheek. The child had a tumor in her jaw and cancer that spread to her lungs. After DNA tests from the mother and child researchers found the cancer in the child and mother shared the same mutated gene. Also, the cancer found in the baby had spread before birth.
However, before mothers start becoming alarmed, the chances of cancer being given to a developing fetus if extremely low. The cancer in the case of the Japanese mother and child was caused because of a mutation that allowed the cancer to spread to the baby undetected. So just remember that the chance is very remote at best.
Regardless it still does seem a little bit scary that something as devastating as cancer is able to spread like that. I’m looking for the day when cancer isn’t an issue, when “the cure” will be available, and many lives are saved all around the world.
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