Coventry & Warwickshire

Sarah Best has healthy baby after cancer treatment

A Warwickshire mother is one of only a handful in the world to undergo cancer treatment while pregnant and go on to have a healthy baby.

Sarah Best, 30, from Leamington Spa, gave birth to Jake after going into labour on the final day of treatment.

She had undergone chemotherapy for a type of mouth cancer after being diagnosed when four months pregnant.

The tumour was removed in a pioneering operation at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).

According to UHCW, chemotherapy for pregnant women is incredibly rare and Jake is thought to be the first baby to be born in the UK after such treatment, and one of only eight in the world.

'Complex treatment'

"It was devastating really," said Ms Best, who gave birth in April.

"Because I thought pregnancy was supposed to the happiest time... you're supposed to feel wonderful.

"And it didn't really... I had other things I had to cope with because of this cancer.

"The hospital [staff] worked so well for me. They were like my best buddies."

Gary Walton, the surgeon who led the UHCW team, said: "This type of treatment is complex at the best of times and is very rarely carried out on pregnant women, so we had to stay in close contact with the maternity team throughout.

"I am delighted that Sarah has responded so well to the treatment, especially now that she has Jake to look after too."

The downside of the operation was that Ms Best was unable to receive any gas-and-air pain relief during labour, but that did not stop her from giving birth to a healthy 4lb 10oz (2.1kg) baby boy.

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