Risk Factors, Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Additional Patient Support
The experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combines the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care, creating a program of personalized medicine and patient-centered care for each individual diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia.
Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.
Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Risk Factors, Screening and Diagnosis
Gestational trophoblastic disease is an extremely rare type of cancer that develops from abnormal placental tissue. It occurs in 1/1200 pregnancies in the U.S., but occurs more commonly in the Far East where the incidence is 1/120 pregnancies. With this disease, most women believe they are pregnant and have a positive pregnancy test. Placental tissue that is supposed to support the growth of the baby grows too quickly. Rather than a baby developing, a tumor will develop instead. This is called a molar pregnancy.
Those at greater than average risk of developing a molar pregnancy include:
- Women who have a history of molar pregnancy.
- Women at the extremes of reproductive age (<15 and >40)
- Women from the Far East
A possible symptom is continued vaginal bleeding in a woman with a recent history of hydatidiform mole, abortion or term pregnancy. Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease include:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- Cysts on the ovaries
- Uneven enlargement of the uterus
- Persistently elevated HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels
For women with a recent history of this disease, women who have previously had an abortion or women who have been unable to carry a pregnancy to term, a pelvic examination may reveal continued uterine enlargement or a tumor. Blood tests, a CT scan to detect potential metastatic tumor in any organ or a chest X-ray may be recommended to determine if cancer is present.
Personalized Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Treatment
Gestational trophoblastic disease is very easily treated once it is diagnosed. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment used and patients will usually respond very well and be cured. Many women are still able to conceive after they recover. In rare cases a hysterectomy may be necessary.
Every week, your multidisciplinary team meets in a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. Your team may include your gynecologic oncologist, radiation oncologist, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, interventional radiologist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for each individual patient.
Patients are at the center of this multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen in a timely fashion by their lead physician, who can discuss their case with a multidiscplinary team, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in our patient care.
As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, NorthShore provides our patients even greater access to a broad network of experts. NorthShore and Mayo specialists share expertise and collaborate on complex disease diagnoses and treatments. Patients benefit from enhanced care at NorthShore, without the need to travel outside the region.
Additional Patient Support
Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services, financial advocacy and survivorship, to name a few.
For More Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.