Breast cancer mother and twins survive after she refuses abortion and has chemotherapy instead...
Zoila Leiva was four-and-a-half months pregnant and looking forward to having twins when she received some terrible news - she had breast cancer.
But the 42-year-old from Whittier in California, refused to have an abortion and was able to battle back to health and keep her precious sons despite undergoing chemotherapy.
She spoke to Mail Online on the day doctors reported in The Lancet that pregnant women with breast cancer can be treated safely and don't need to delay treatment until they give birth.
The team from Belgium's Leuven Cancer Institute found chemotherapy can be safely given in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy without affecting the unborn baby and, in general, surgery is safe during any of the three trimesters.
The advice given to Ms Leiva, who was diagnosed back in 2007 was very different. She had first felt a lump in her breast in February of that year but had been told it was a benign cyst following a mammogram and ultrasound.
However, in December she was told it was actually cancer and she faced a terrible decision of life and death.
She told Mail Online:
My oncologist recommended an abortion straight away as my cancer was advanced and had spread to the lymph nodes.
They told me there was no way of knowing if it had spread into any organs while I was pregnant as I couldn't have any of the necessary scans.
They wanted me to have a termination within two weeks but after hearing about the procedure I was horrified. I could feel my babies moving. I'll just die of depression if I kill them now. So I never went back to that medical practice.