Choriocarcinoma

Alternative Names

Chorioblastoma; Trophoblastic tumor; Chorioepithelioma; Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia

Definition of Choriocarcinoma

Choriocarcinoma is a quick-growing form of cancer that occurs in a woman’s uterus (womb). The abnormal cells start in the tissue that would normally become the placenta, the organ that develops during pregnancy to feed the fetus.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Choriocarcinoma is an uncommon, but very often curable cancer associated with pregnancy. A baby may or may not develop in these types of pregnancy.

Symptoms

A possible symptom is continued vaginal bleeding in a woman with a recent history of hydatidiform mole, abortion, or pregnancy.

Signs and tests

A pregnancy test will be positive even when you are not pregnant. Pregnancy hormone (HCG) levels will be persistently high.

Treatment

After an initial diagnosis, a careful history and examination are done to make sure the cancer has not spread to other organs. is the main type of treatment.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most women whose cancer has not spread can be cured and will maintain reproductive function.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/5/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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