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  • Chemo-radiation

    I've just been diagnosed with cervical cancer - most likely Stage 2. I'm due to have an MRI and PET scan in the next week or so to determine exactly the extent of it but it looks like I'm going to need radiation and chemotherapy (probably Cisplastin) - surgery will most likely not be an option.

    I'm currently breastfeeding my 5 month old baby and I don't want to stop permanently if at all possible.

    I'm looking for information about going through chemotherapy pumping and dumping and then resumed breastfeeding after the drugs have passed from my system?

    It looks like I'll be having chemotherapy once a week for five weeks.
    Last edited by LadyLayla; 09-15-2015, 04:48 PM.

  • #2
    LadyLayla, thanks for posting,

    Cisplatin is rated a L5-limited data-hazardous. The amount transferred into breast milk is 0.01-39.71% of your dose. Although the literature is highly variable, two options are suggested. One, the breastmilk should be tested for platinum levels and not used as long as they are measurable. Or two, without measuring platinum levels, breastfeeding should be interrupted for at least 20-30 days for low doses, or much longer (permanently) for higher doses. General recommendation is to avoid breastfeeding, but should a patient resume breastfeeding 3-5 days after the last dose of maternal therapy, monitor the infant for difficulty swallowing/reflux, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation. Lab work could be drawn if clinical signs of liver or renal dysfunction, anemia, thrombocytopenia or an inability to fight infection.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other questions please call the InfantRisk Center at 806-352-2519. Thanks,

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center
    Last edited by admin; 09-16-2015, 08:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for coming back to me Sandra. It looks like I'll be having a low dose as it's cervical cancer - I've been advised that hair loss etc will be minimal. When you say 20-30 days after the last dose of maternal therapy, does the difference (i.e. 20 days or 30 days) depend on the dosage? Also, how would I get my milk tested for platinum levels. Is this something that a hospital lab could do? I am in Ireland

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      • #4
        LadyLayla,

        Twenty days would be the minimal amount of time to wait, but 30 would be better for the low doses. As for the testing of platinum levels each lab will differ, you could check around your area but some labs do not have the capability to test the levels.

        Sandra Lovato R.N.
        InfantRisk Center

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        • #5
          I'm currently in the middle of my treatment - I've had two sessions of chemotherapy one week apart so far. I'll be having three more sessions over the next three weeks.

          The dosage I'm receiving is 70mg Cisplatin. I've been pumping and dumping since starting chemotherapy as it is not possible to have the platinum levels checked in my local hospital lab.

          For a dosage of 70mg Cisplatin per treatment session, is the most current advice still to wait 30 days after the last dose before resuming breastfeeding? Or would 20 days be sufficient for this dosage?

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          • #6
            LadyLayla,

            Cistplatin has a half-life of <130 hours. I would suggest 30 days to be safe, but at 20 days approximately 93% of the medication would be out of your of your plasma and milk and in 30 days almost all should be out.

            Sandra Lovato R.N.
            InfantRisk Center
            806-352-2519

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