We’ve reported these kinds of stories before at LifeNews. A woman becomes pregnant and, because of pregnancy, she discovered cancer or some other medical condition that may very well have gone untreated and potentially claimed her life.
Although doctors sometimes suggest an abortion when a woman battling cancer is pregnant, in the case of Amy Hansen of Fort Collins, Colorado, she firmly believes she owes her life today to her unborn child.
Collins was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just weeks after learning she was pregnant with her first son. The 29-year-old tells the local newspaper she firmly believes her pregnancy and her son saved her life and now she wants others to know they can deal with cancer and carry a baby to term at the same time.
Studies show women don’t need to have an abortion and can safely seek chemo treatment during pregnancy.
Andy Hansen can’t wait to tell his son that he saved the love of his life.
“The fact that we found it so early because of him was a miracle,” he said. “He really did save her life. That’s a pretty neat story to tell him. If we didn’t have him, she might never have known until it was too late.”
Five days after learning she was pregnant, Amy went to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain. Doctors discovered and drained a cyst, which proved persistent and was removed weeks later. A pathology report showed ovarian cancer.
“I may not have paid attention to the symptoms I was having if I didn’t know I was pregnant,” Hansen said. “Gavin’s life meant my life. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for this guy.”
Gavin was born Nov. 19 and is now 5 months old, healthy and his mom’s “cute little chunk.” Hansen is in remission and “cancer-free for now.”
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Hansen and her husband, Andy, were shocked when doctors in Fort Collins recommended a nine-week course of chemotherapy. The couple, married in 2011, sought a second and even third opinion before accepting the course of treatment.
“Getting over the shock that chemo was going to be OK was difficult, really awful,” Hansen said. “I wanted facts.”
Around 3,500 pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year. Shelanski said that number could increase as the average age of pregnancy goes up and women continue to get pregnant “at later and later periods of life,” when the risk of getting cancer is higher.