Topic Outline
Topic Outline
Cancer Chemotherapy
IABLE
Topic Outline
Medications and Anesthesia Cancer Chemotherapy

Cancer Chemotherapy

Many drugs used to treat cancer are very toxic and mothers should not breastfeed while taking them. However, some chemotherapy is given intermittently, once a month, for example. Some mothers are able to pump and discard milk for a few days after receiving chemotherapy and then resume breastfeeding for a period of time until she receives the next cycle. Some newer types of chemotherapy include kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Both of these classes of drugs are currently considered to be contraindicated during breastfeeding. The monoclonal antibodies may prove to be acceptable to use during breastfeeding, but very little safety information is available in nursing mothers. Some monoclonal antibodies are conjugated with specific  toxins; these should be avoided during nursing. For information on specific chemotherapy drugs, refer to LactMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501922/