Mother Refused Breast Cancer Treatment to Save Her Unborn Son’s Life

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 6, 2015   |   10:34AM   |   Washington, DC

A pregnant mother in the UK is refusing chemotherapy to give her unborn child and his brother a better life.

When doctors diagnosed Heidi Loughlin with an aggressive form of breast cancer, they suggested that she have an abortion before starting cancer treatment, The Daily Express reports.

“It wasn’t hard for me to make the decision. I wanted to keep the baby…” Loughlin said, adding that she wants her son Tait to have a brother.

The 32-year-old mother and police officer discovered symptoms of breast cancer in February when she was breastfeeding Tait. But doctors thought Loughlin had mastitis. They gave her antibiotics and sent her home, according to the report.

“(The doctor) ran through a breast cancer checklist and I said there was zero cancer in my family, I never smoked or drank, and I lived a health lifestyle.,” Loughlin told the news outlet.

Then the symptoms worsened: Her nipples inverted and her skin developed an “orange-peel look,” she said. She was three months pregnant at the time.

In September, Loughlin returned to the doctor’s office where they diagnosed her with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive disease – and asked if she wanted to have an abortion.



The young mother insisted on preserving her unborn child’s life – though she has no guarantee that she herself will get better.

Loughlin said she is undergoing a milder form of chemotherapy and taking the hormone drug, Herceptin, until she gives birth.

A recent study found that cancer treatments do not harm unborn children, and abortion is not necessary in maternal cancer cases, previously reported.

The researchers wrote, “Prenatal exposure to maternal cancer with or without treatment did not impair the cognitive, cardiac, or general development of children in early childhood. Prematurity was correlated with a worse cognitive outcome, but this effect was independent of cancer treatment.”

Thankfully, according to a CNN News story, these days it is rare for a doctor to counsel a cancer patient to have an abortion because now more than ever, women can fight cancer and have healthy children.