2 infants inhaled cancer cells from mothers during birth

Two infants in Japan may have developed lung cancer after inhaling cancer cells from their mothers at birth, according to a new case report.

About 1 in 1,000 babies are born to mothers who have cancer, but only about one in 500,000 of these newborns develops cancer from their mother. Though these cases are extremely rare, researchers had known that the transfer can happen if cancer cells, traveling in the mother’s blood, get into the placenta. 

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