“My Unborn Baby Saved My Life:” Pregnancy Helps Identify Mom’s Cancerous Tumor

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 5, 2017   |   1:26PM   |   London, England

Just one week after Chelsea Nally and her husband, Daniel, were married, the newlyweds discovered they were pregnant.

For some, the news may have brought thoughts of abortion, but the British couple said they were excited about their unplanned pregnancy. They did not know that several weeks later, a serious discussion about abortion would come up when Chelsea found a cancerous tumor in her left breast, The Sun reports.

The Nallys chose life for their baby boy, Finley, and today the mother and son are doing well. Chelsea said Finley saved her life because the pregnancy helped her find the cancer sooner.

“Finley saved me before he was even born,” she told The Sun. “He’ll always be so special to me for that reason.”

Chelsea Nally said she found a lump on her left breast about 10 days after they learned she was pregnant – barely a month after their wedding. A few weeks later, doctors confirmed that she had stage 3 breast cancer, according to the report.

“When I heard the words’ breast cancer’ I reeled,” Nally remembered. “In six weeks, I’d gotten married, found out I was pregnant and was diagnosed with cancer. Medics weren’t sure of the prognosis. They had no idea if the baby was at risk.

“The doctors told me that it was unusual for a lump to move in a breast, but said that had my breasts not changed with the pregnancy, I might never have found the lump,” she continued.

Initially, doctors discussed the possibility of Nally having an abortion; but when further testing revealed that her cancer was limited to her left breast, they did not push the idea, according to the report. Nally said she felt relieved because she did not want to abort her unborn son.

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“I was determined to fight the disease for the both of us,” she said.

After undergoing surgery to have the tumor removed, Nally went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. She said she constantly worried about how it would affect Finley.

“With every scan, Daniel and I would hold hands watching the monitor, desperately hoping to see a sign our baby was growing,” she said.

Here’s more from the report:

Medics told Chelsea the swelling of her breasts had moved the lump in her breast closer to the skin where it could be detected – saving her life.

Incredibly, on March 19 this year, baby Finley was born healthy, weighing 5lbs 3oz.

Speaking from her home in Woodbridge, Suffolk, she said: “Battling a deadly illness while growing new life inside of me was indescribable.

“The chemo was tough but it was nothing compared to the fear that my baby might not survive the treatment.

Nally said she felt so relieved when she heard Finley cry for the first time. Even more relief followed when doctors told her that Finley was healthy.

“Holding him in my arms for the first time I felt like my biggest battle was over,” she said. “I couldn’t believe we had both survived pregnancy and chemo. He is my hero, even before he was born he had saved my life.”

Recent studies indicate pregnant women who undergo cancer treatments do not put their unborn babies at significant risk. A 2015 study published in the highly reputable New England Journal of Medicine concluded, “Prenatal exposure to maternal cancer with or without treatment did not impair the cognitive, cardiac, or general development of children in early childhood.”

Based on these findings, lead researcher Professor Frédéric Amant said women should not abort their unborn babies based on fear that their cancer treatment could affect their child.