The diagnosis of malignancy during pregnancy is an extremely distressing event for the patient, her family and caregivers. The need to treat the patient for a potentially lethal disease, while minimizing potential risks to the developing fetus, raises significant therapeutic and ethical dilemmas.
Lymphoma presents the fourth most common malignancy in pregnancy, with an estimated prevalence of one in 6000 pregnancies [1–3], whereas leukemia, which is a relatively rare disease, is estimated to occur in one in 75,000–100,000 pregnancies [1,3]. Due to the increasing age of pregnancy in the western world and improved diagnostic techniques, the incidence of malignancy during pregnancy is expected to rise.
This editorial reviews unique medical challenges associated with the most common hematological cancers reported during pregnancy, addressing therapeutic dilemmas and current recommended approaches. Notably, the rarity of hematological cancers during pregnancy precludes conduction of prospective trials; hence, the information presented here is mainly based on small retrospective studies and case reports.