Young cancer survivors often wish to bear a child after oncological treatments, as they might not have started or completed their families. As young cancer survivors have a higher risk of developing psychological difficulties, this study investigated whether there were significant differences in psychological aspects between pregnant women who received a cancer diagnosis in the past and pregnant women without a history of cancer. A total of 123 pregnant women, of which 36 were cancer survivors and 87 women without a history of cancer, were recruited during their last trimester at different hospitals in Northern Italy. Patients were asked to complete a socio-demographic profile and questionnaires measuring mood states, post-traumatic symptoms, centrality of the pregnancy and cancer event, quality of life, and prenatal attachment. Cancer survivors had significantly higher levels of PTSD symptoms, perceived pregnancy as more central to their identity and life story, perceived lower quality of life and had lower intensity of prenatal attachment compared with the control group. Centrality of the cancer event did not correlate with any psychological variables. Preliminary results suggest that a past cancer diagnosis can influence the mother’s psychological functioning and the development of the relationship with their child.
- Cancer diagnosis
- Cancer survivors