RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA (ABC News) — A woman who underwent cancer treatment during pregnancy is celebrating the birth of her healthy baby boy.
Jade Devis of Rancho Cucamonga, California, welcomed a son, Bradley, after two months of chemotherapy to fight Stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer–one of the rarest forms of breast cancer.
“I love him so much. He’s my focus now,” Devis told “Good Morning America.”
In January, Devis found a lump in her left breast. She said the pain was unbearable, but doctors at the time blamed the symptoms on her pregnancy.
Devis had a biopsy in March and underwent surgery on April 9 to remove the lump. On April 29, she received a grade 3 breast cancer diagnosis.
Chemo was the recommended option for Devis’ treatment. Devis paused chemo to give birth and then after birth, she continued.
“We’re told growing up that, when your pregnant, you’re supposed to feel radiant,” she said.
“I had parent guilt. I felt bad for already feeling bad,” she said of deciding to undergo treatment. “Then, someone tells you the only way out of the situation [is] by doing one thing you’re not supposed to do, and that puts your baby in harms way.”
Dr. Gayathri Nagaraj, Devis’ oncologist at Loma Linda University Cancer Center, told “GMA” that it’s safer for women to undergo treatment during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy with modifications and the fetus’ safety in mind.
“She received three cycles of chemo during the second and third trimesters of her pregnancy,” Nagaraj said of Devis. “We took a full week break so she could safely deliver baby Bradley. Now she’s completing the remainder of her chemo.”
While some doctors might suggest a termination of pregnancy for women diagnosed with cancer, Nagaraj said termination has not shown an improved survival rate.
In Devis’ case, Nagaraj said her team was able to administer chemo, stayed away from certain medications and waited for radiation and a CT scan until Bradley was born.
Bradley arrived on July 25 at 6 pounds,11 ounces. There were no complications with his birth.
“There’s no need to wait until the baby is delivered and give your cancer a chance to grow,” Nagaraj said. “There’s are risks, but there are benefits. Jade did great. She took all the medical support we offered her and she remains strong. I think this story is worth telling because of all the women her and Bradley would inspire.”
While undergoing treatment, Devis was given a baby shower at Loma Linda from her nurses, she said.
Devis will begin radiation treatment next month and will complete chemo in November.
She said she’s looking forward to raising her son, and getting back to her favorite hobby of swimming.
Devis said her advice to other women feeling unusual pain in their breasts is to “see your doctor immediately.”
“Try to express and exaggerate how much it hurts,” Devis added. “You’ll have horrible days, but there are days that will make you want to fight. Don’t let it get so ugly inside.”