Breastfeeding safe after treatment?

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Question from Medtech: I was diagnosed with HER2-positive, stage II breast cancer 5 years ago. Went through chemotherapy, radiation, and Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab) and have had no evidence of disease since the end of treatment. I'm now pregnant and overjoyed, but am worried about breastfeeding because of the treatment. Is it safe for me to breastfeed?
Answers - Kutluk Oktay, M.D. There's no such evidence that breastfeeding after completing your cancer treatment would hurt the baby. And, in fact, it may have some mild preventative effect for future cancers.
Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. One thing that women may find interesting is that for a breast that has had lumpectomy and radiation, about a quarter of women are still able to get some breast milk on that side.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Fertility and Pregnancy featured Kutluk Oktay, M.D. and Leslie Schover, Ph.D. answering your questions about breast cancer treatments that can affect your fertility, options for preserving your fertility, being treated for breast cancer while pregnant, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2008.

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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