Can A Partial Molar Pregnancy Cause Cancer?

Choriocarcinoma, which is a rare cancerous form of molar pregnancy or gestational trophoblastic disease may develop and spread to other organs also. A complete molar pregnancy is more prone to have this type of cancer rather than the partial molar pregnancy. The Choriocarcinoma is treated with the use of multiple cancer drugs.

Can A Partial Molar Pregnancy Cause Cancer?

Choriocarcinoma is a type of malignancy which happens when the cells of molar pregnancy or a normal pregnancy become malignant and start spreading in the other parts of the body also. The rate of Choriocarcinoma is very less i.e. around 0.002% and the cause being partial molar pregnancy is even lesser. Many times the detection of the Choriocarcinoma becomes quite difficult as the cells can move to other parts of the body and divide there. This process can take place after several months or even years. The good thing is that it can be treated easily.

Choriocarcinoma And Molar Pregnancy

Choriocarcinoma is a type of malignancy which happens when the cells of molar pregnancy or a normal pregnancy become malignant and start spreading in the other parts of the body also. Choriocarcinoma can happen after a normal pregnancy, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy or abortion.

The rate of Choriocarcinoma is very less i.e. around 0.002% and is usually treated easily. However, sometimes the detection of the malignancy becomes quite difficult as the cells can move to other parts of the body and divide there.

To know more about molar pregnancy causing cancer we first need to know what is a molar pregnancy; what is a partial molar pregnancy and what is complete molar pregnancy.

Molar Pregnancy

A molar pregnancy occurs when there is improper fertilization of the egg which leads to the growth of abnormal cells and forms a cluster filled with water inside the womb. This complication is also known as Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD). Earlier it was also known as Hydatidiform mole but now it is known as Molar pregnancy. Mostly the molar pregnancies are benign which means they are not cancerous. They can also be called as the most common type of Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor. Molar pregnancies can be complete or partial.

Complete Molar Pregnancy

A complete molar pregnancy occurs when there is no fetal tissue formed at all. Only the molar tissue is formed in the uterus. A complete molar pregnancy happens when two sperms fertilize an egg and the genetic material from mother is either altered or destroyed and therefore there are no genes from mother.

There is a surgical removal of the molar tissues in case of complete molar pregnancy. However in around 15% women the molar tissue is not completely removed and remains embedded in the deeper tissue of the uterus or moves to other parts and start dividing. This is known as Persistent Gestational tumor and needs proper Chemotherapy for getting complete rid of the tissues of the abnormal or molar cells.

Partial Molar Pregnancy

In case of partial molar pregnancy some fetal tissue is also developed along with the molar tissue. The fetal tissue although won’t be able to develop into a baby but it looks like a fetus in an ultrasound reports. A partial molar pregnancy happens when two sperms fertilize an egg and the genetic material from father comes twice therefore the number of chromosomes become 69 (3 sets) instead of 46 (2 sets).

The partial molar tissue also needs to be removed surgically and the women do not need any further treatment. However in 1% women there can be a case similar to the complete molar pregnancy in which the molar tissue is not completely removed and remains embedded in the deeper tissue of the uterus or moves to other parts and start dividing. This is known as Persistent Gestational tumor and needs proper Chemotherapy for getting complete rid of the tissues of the abnormal or molar cells.

So it means the partial molar pregnancy can also be responsible for cancer but in extremely rare cases.

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