Decisions about your treatment

Your doctor decides which treatment you need for persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma, and the types of treatment you might have. 

Your medical and nursing team

Usually a team of doctors and other health professionals work together. They consider your case and decide together on the best treatment for you. They specialise in different aspects of treatment, but work together as a multi disciplinary team (MDT). The team may include:

  • a surgeon who specialises in cancer of the womb, ovaries, cervix and vagina
  • one or more specialists in chemotherapy and radiotherapy (medical or clinical oncologist)
  • a gynaecology specialist nurse
  • physiotherapists
  • psychologists or counsellors
  • social workers

Treatment overview

Persistent trophoblastic disease means that abnormal cells are present in the body after having surgery to remove a molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy occurs when the fertilisation of the egg by the sperm goes wrong and leads to the growth of abnormal cells or clusters of water filled sacs inside the womb.

If the surgery hasn't completely got rid of the molar tissue, you need to have treatment with chemotherapy. 

If you need chemotherapy treatment you will either have chemotherapy treatment for low risk GTD or chemotherapy treatment for high risk GTD. A few women need surgery and an even smaller number may have radiotherapy.

Your doctors will plan your treatment according to:

  • the type of GTD you have
  • how far your disease has grown or spread (the stage)
  • your levels of the hormone hCG in your blood and urine
  • the length of time since your pregnancy
  • whether you have had previous treatment for GTD
  • your general health and level of fitness
  • your age

Where you have treatment

To have chemotherapy you go to one of the UK specialist centres:

  • Charing Cross Hospital, London
  • Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

The amount of time you need to spend in hospital depends on the treatment you have. You are likely to need to stay in hospital for at least a week at the start of treatment. The overall course of treatment usually lasts between 3 and 6 months. You may be able to have much of the treatment as an outpatient at your local hospital.

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