- Question from Website Question: I'm writing from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Five years ago, I had breast cancer, mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Now I am 36 years old, and I want to have a baby. I'm felling very good, the only problem is very high prolactin. All other hormones are OK. Is it dangerous for me to have a baby?
- Answers - Kutluk Oktay, M.D. Hvala! High prolactin levels are not necessarily dangerous if you want to get pregnant, but they have to be investigated, because they can be caused by tumors in the brain. If there is a large tumor, that tumor can grow during pregnancy. You should have a brain MRI done to determine the origin.
Marisa Weiss, M.D.
Dr. Oktay is referring to a tumor of the pituitary gland (not a breast cancer that has spread to the brain). These pituitary gland tumors are usually fairly straightforward to treat, relative to the other scenario of breast cancer that spread to the brain.
If a woman has an elevated prolactin level without a pituitary gland type of tumor producing it, does it need to be controlled for her to try to get pregnant?
- Kutluk Oktay, M.D. High prolactin levels will typically prevent ovulation, so this does need to be treated, but this can be done medically. And once you get pregnant, it doesn't interfere with the ability to carry the baby.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Pregnancy and Fertility Issues featured Kutluk Oktay, M.D., Leslie Schover, Ph.D., and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about pregnancy and fertility before, during, and after breast cancer treatment, as well as the options of adoption and gestational carriers (surrogate mothers).
Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2004.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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