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Feb 04, 2011 at 11:11pm IST

Battling cancer during pregnancy

Mumbai: It was the happiest moment of her life. A positive pregnancy test and yet, just six months later, the devastating news - a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer.

John Kazi, Cancer Patient said, "I thought I will die the next day. You know that's the big C word - Cancer. The next thing that comes to your mind is that you're going".

Worse was still awaiting 26-year-old Nigerian, John Kaza. Six months into her pregnancy, doctors in Nigeria gave her the grim choice of aborting the child and starting chemotherapy treatment - which is known to cause physical and mental deformities in unborn children. The fear also - that her child would be born with cancer.

Globally, one in 3000 women develop breast cancer during their pregnancy - and in most cases doctors miss out on early diagnosis because the signs of breast cancer are very similar to the changes in a woman's body during pregnancy.

And that's exactly what what happened with Kaza. Except she came to Mumbai for treatment, looking for a way to save her child's life, along with her own.

The biggest challenge for this team of doctors was to immediately stop the spread of cancer and save the 24 weeks old foetus from the harmful effects of chemotherapy.

Kaza said, "It wasn't easy, at times when I go for scans, I'd be like, can I see. Can I see the head, can I see the hand".

On September 29 2010, Kaza gave birth to a 3.5 kilogram boy. He's completely healthy. No prizes for guessing, Kaza named her bundle of joy, Miracle.

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