Follow up after persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma | Cancer Research UK
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Follow up after persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma

Men and women discussing gestational trophoblastic tumours

This page tells you about follow up after treatment for persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma, which are types of gestational trophoblastic tumour (GTT). There is information below about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Persistent trophoblastic disease (PTD) and choriocarcinoma are types of tumours known as gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTTs). All women who have had a GTT are monitored closely to check they are clear of disease and to look for any signs of it coming back. The length of your follow up will depend on the treatment you had and on your particular hospital.

What follow up involves

You will have urine or blood tests to check your hCG levels. The specialist centre will give you a kit for your urine tests and you send the samples in to the centre. If you are having blood tests, your GP surgery may be able to do them.

Future pregnancy

It is important not to get pregnant until your doctors say it is safe to try. If you have had chemotherapy treatment, doctors recommend that you wait for 12 months from when you finished the chemotherapy before trying to become pregnant.

If you do become pregnant before they recommend it, it is very important to let your specialist team know. Your hCG levels will go up with a normal pregnancy, so they won’t be able to monitor your disease by hCG.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma section.

 

 

Why you need follow up

Persistent trophoblastic disease (PTD) and choriocarcinoma are types of pregnancy related tumours known as gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTT for short). All women who have had a PTD or choriocarcinoma are monitored closely to check that the disease has completely gone and to look for any signs of it coming back. 

The length of your follow up depends on the treatment you had and which specialist hospital is looking after you.

 

What follow up involves

You will have urine tests, blood tests or both to check your hCG level. The specialist centre will send you a pre paid kit for your tests which are sent back to the centre for processing. If you are having blood tests, your GP surgery may be able to do them for you. Then they should send it (with your urine sample if you've done one) to the specialist centre. 

If you have chemotherapy as part of your treatment, you will have blood and urine tests frequently once the treatment has finished. Follow up varies between treatment centres but generally you have blood and urine tests varying from weekly to 4 weekly over the first 6 months. 

For the next 6 months you may have urine tests every 2 to 4 weeks. During the next few years you send urine samples every few weeks. Then you send urine samples every 6 months for the rest of your life.

Your treatment centre will send you all the kits for these follow up tests when you need them, so you don’t need to worry about remembering the timings yourself. Of course, you'll need to let them know if you move house.

Many people find it helpful to have counselling after cancer treatment. You can find out about counselling in the coping with cancer section.

 

Future pregnancy

It’s important not to get pregnant until your doctors say it is safe to try. If you have had chemotherapy treatment, UK guidelines recommend that you wait for 12 months from when you finished the chemotherapy before trying to become pregnant. It is fine to use hormonal contraception such as the pill or implants. 

If you do become pregnant before they recommend it, it is very important to let your specialist team know. Your hCG levels will go up with a normal pregnancy, so they won’t be able to monitor your GTT using your hCG levels. And after you have had your baby you will need to continue having further hCG tests.

There is detailed information about contraception and future pregnancies in the living with molar pregnancy and choriocarcinoma section.

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Updated: 23 June 2016