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Choices While Pregnant With Cancer: Shellfish? No. Chemo? Yes.

Mary Harris was relieved when Stella was born with a mop of thick black hair, as if she had been protected from the chemo somehow. (Howard Harris)
Mary Harris was relieved when Stella was born with a mop of thick black hair, as if she had been protected from the chemo somehow. (Howard Harris)

When Mary Harris was 35 years old, she got the devastating diagnosis that she had breast cancer. As she was preparing to deal with surgery and chemotherapy, she got another surprising piece of news: she was also pregnant.

Harris was faced with a series of wrenching decisions about how to treat her cancer while also trying to protect the health of her unborn baby. Her story is featured as part of a 10-part series on cancer co-produced by WNYC and NPR.

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