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  • Melanoma and Pregnancy.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on September 26th, 2015 (All posts by )

    This is just a brief post to mention that that today’s Daily Mail has an article about a pregnant women with a spreading melanoma. In my book, linked on this site, I have a chapter on melanoma and several stories of patients whose melanoma went wild during a pregnancy. There is no report in the medical literature that supports this connection. Most reports deny any connection, although a few mention some negative prognosis.

    The literature continues to be split on the role of pregnancy in melanoma; however, most recent series show no difference in survival. Multiple studies have failed to show significant effects of female hormones on melanoma cells or on the incidence or progression of melanoma.

    In my book, I describe several cases where pregnancy would “awaken” melanomas that had been removed years earlier or would stimulate worrisome growth in moles. Two of my patients had extensive metastatic melanoma during pregnancy that disappeared after the baby was delivered, in one case with my help. Both women were disease free many years later and neither had another pregnancy.

    How interesting that this young woman has developed metastatic melanoma during pregnancy. I wonder how it will turn out.

     

    4 Responses to “Melanoma and Pregnancy.”

    1. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I wonder if there’s any relation to her body stimulating cell growth in the child, and somehow that goes awry?

    2. Mike K Says:

      I remember when early birth control pills sometimes cause pigmentation of the face in some women.

      The use of oral estrogen-progestogen contraceptives may cause melasma, an epidermal hyperpigmentation in sun-exposed areas of the face. It is assumed that elevated estrogen levels lead to the activation of melanocytes, while the role of the gestagen component of contraceptives in pigmentation remains unclear and may vary between the different progestogens. In this study, we analyzed the distinct effects of progesterone and chlormadinone acetate (CMA) on melanocytes in comparison with estrogen.

      It’s odd that this has not translated to concerns about pregnancy but there literature is almost zero even after my own experiences described in the book.

    3. Grurray Says:

      We have a friend who contracted melanoma on her arm during her pregnancy. She had some sort of localized chemo to the malignancy and then they induced labor as soon as it was safe.

      I read that section in your book about Kathy. It seems a good area for further research is exploring that mechanism that shuts down the growth after the baby’s born.

    4. dearieme Says:

      I refer to the Daily mail as the Old England Journal of Medicine.