Pregnancy-related breast cancer is rare, but about one in 3000 pregnant women are diagnosed. Many women have gone on to have healthy babies and live healthy lives after a diagnosis of breast cancer; in fact, research has shown that pregnant women diagnosed with breast cancer do as well or even better than non-pregnant women. Any breast cancer that is found during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or within a year following delivery of a baby is considered a pregnancy-related breast cancer.
Because of the changes in the breast that occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding, breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose. For this reason, pregnancy-related breast tumors tend to be larger and of a higher stage than those in non-pregnant women. Still, many diagnostic procedures and treatments are safe for pregnant women and their babies.