Jan Burkhalter had been trying for several years to get pregnant, and when she recently found out she was with child she was ecstatic. But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer while six months pregnant she was in shock.CBS 11
reports that the 41-year-old was 27 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, which is a more aggressive form of breast cancer.
Burkhalter, along with her husband, David, weren't sure what the doctors would recommend as far as treatment. They thought she would either begin chemotherapy after the baby was born, or have to deliver the child 3 months early.
However, doctors told her that they were going to begin chemotherapy treatment while she was still pregnant.
"We were in shock," she told the news source. "We didn't know how to process that. One of the physicians used the term 'baby-friendly chemotherapy', and those were words we never expected to hear in the same sentence."
Her oncologist, Dr Aman Khan, reassured her that the process was safe and would not harm the child.
Burkhalter gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Molly, and is now cancer free.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. today.