Tongue cancer during pregnancy: Surgery and more, a multidisciplinary challenge

Marta Tagliabue, Shimaa Hassan Elrefaey, Fedro Alessandro Peccatori, Gianfranco Favia, Valeria Navach, Lorenzo Pignataro, Pasquale Capaccio, Marco Venturino, Stefano Tredici, Daniela Alterio, Fabio Mosca, Lorenza Pugni, Giovanna Scarfone, Maria Cossu Rocca, Luca Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No international guidelines are available for the treatment of oral tongue cancer during pregnancy. Six patients with tongue cancer during pregnancy were identified by a retrospective chart review. In three of the cases we did not follow the standard treatment, the women had disease progression, and two of them died after a short time.A multidisciplinary discussion and literature review suggest that following the standard surgical procedure could be the optimal treatment to ensure mother and baby health in tongue cancer. Nonetheless choosing between maternal advantage and potential fetal damage should not be an individual medical decision. Treatment "customization" is a possibility. Patients and their families should be provided with comprehensive information and appropriate support in order to fully participate in the decision-making process. The patient's care may be improved if carried out in a specialized maternity center where the surgical oncologic treatment is managed together with the obstetric aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Cancer during pregnancy
  • Cancer treatments during pregnancy
  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Tongue cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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