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The Pregnant Women's Oncology Center comprehensively supports patients. “I'm in the best hands”

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The Center for Oncology of Pregnant Women was established at the Institute of the Polish Mother's Health Center in Łódź. In one place, patients receive care from oncologists, gynecologists, obstetricians, radiologists and psychologists. The center cost over PLN 15 million. It was financed by EU funds.

There were a lot of tears before there was a smile. In the fourth month of pregnancy, Ms. Weronika found out that she had mediastinal cancer. – Big crying, big sobbing – admits Weronika Syska. – I had someone to fight for. It was hard, but we had to get up and fight, he adds.

Doctors suspected that she would give birth to a sick child

She found out about the disease after routine tests that should be performed before amniocentesis. Doctors suspected that she would give birth to a child with Down syndrome. – My CRP was too high. They tried to lower it, but it kept growing and the whole journey of looking for the cause began. It lasted about two months – recalls Mrs. Weronika.

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Two months of uncertainty, and after the diagnosis, another dozen or so weeks of pain, but above all, fear for the child. – We treat these mothers, these pregnant women, whom we call divine mothers, with chemotherapy. Their children are exposed to cytostatics before birth – explains Ewa Kalinka, habilitated doctor of medical sciences and head of the Oncology Clinic at the Institute of the Polish Mother's Health Center.

– Cancer or malignant tumor is extremely difficult for every person, everything turns upside down, so we can imagine what a pregnant woman feels, who is worried about herself and the child – says Iwona Maroszyńska, director of the Institute of Health Center Polish mothers.

SEE ALSO: Draft amendment to the National Oncology Network adopted by the government. “Saves availability in 259 hospitals”

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– These are patients who struggle with incredible stress and anxiety that concerns not only their own health, but also the health and future of their unborn child. These are very heroic women – says Mariusz Grzesiak, habilitated doctor of medical sciences and head of the Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic of the Polish Mother's Health Center Institute. For these heroines, the first Pregnant Women's Oncology Center in Poland was officially opened on April 4 at the Institute of the Mother's Health Center in Łódź. They are diagnosed and treated in one place. – Usually, maternity wards are not established in oncology clinics because the techniques we use in oncology, i.e. chemotherapy or radiotherapy, are highly harmful to pregnant women – points out Ewa Kalinka.

How to treat it so as not to threaten the safety of the fetus?

– It is important that these women receive highly specialized care, i.e. not only oncological care, but in cooperation with gynecologists and obstetricians – says Iwona Maroszyńska.

There is also psychological support. – These are patients who are, of course, very strong and have an incredible will to survive and undergo this treatment, but the support of psychologists is very important – comments Mariusz Grzesiak. – The staff of people who took care of us was very large, so I would like to thank everyone very much – says Mrs. Weronika.

Pregnant patients receive chemotherapy, and sometimes surgery is necessary. – I've had chemotherapy. I've had six cycles, and for now it's a routine check-up, and I hope that everything will be fine and nothing will come back – says Mrs. Weronika.

– We must give the woman all the treatment to save her life, but not a little more; so that the child receives as little of these drugs as possible – explains Ewa Kalinka. Oncologists emphasize that the treatment must be effective for the mother and at the same time safe for the fetus.

– We must take into account the maturity of the fetus, what drug we can administer at what time, and when to end the pregnancy – says Maroszyńska. – We never use radiotherapy or hormone therapy during pregnancy, because these methods cause a huge percentage of congenital defects in children – adds Kalinka.

Every year, over 100 pregnant women find out they have cancer

The center is located in a renovated oncology clinic, where patients can use modern technologies, for example a drug transport device made of tubes. Oncologists estimate that in Poland each year over 100 pregnant women find out that they have cancer. Almost a quarter of them are treated in this clinic.

SEE ALSO: It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men

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– This is a difficult treatment, it requires many sacrifices and great discipline from these patients, but it is a treatment that brings results – says Grzesiak. – The gallery of portraits of children who were born after treatment in this clinic is growing every month. These children are healthy, says Kalinka. Mrs. Weronika was treated there and it was there that her son, Aleksander, was born. The boy is a premature baby, he is seven months old. – Great care, I knew I was in the best hands, so I wasn't worried in that respect. The approach to the patient, to all this… It was so great, it also helped us survive all this – sums up Mrs. Weronika. – Thank you very much – he adds. Without the support of her husband and family, it would be much more difficult for the 27-year-old to fight for her life and the health of her child. Now Mrs. Weronika is cured.

Author:Marta Kolbus

Main photo source: TVN24

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