Molar pregnancy is a gestational tumor that occurs when egg fertilization goes wrong. Instead of a fetus, clusters of fluid filled sacs are formed in the womb. Since this is an alien growth inside the womb, it is perceived as cancerous. However, in truth, molar pregnancies, for the most part, are benign. There are instances when these moles spread outside the womb; even so, these tumors are entirely curable.
This condition is referred to as pregnancy because the growing clusters can sometimes be mistaken for a baby. Molar pregnancies can either be partial or complete. Partial moles imply the presence of fetal tissues along with the molar tissues.
However, it's important to know that the fetal tissues will not develop into a baby. Partial molars are curable and excepting rare instances, no chemotherapy is required for treatment.
Complete molar pregnancies or complete moles, imply that the womb only has molar tissues and no fetal tissues. While the percentage is relatively low, some women with complete moles do end up with cancerous tumors and these women then have to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
There is a third variety of molar pregnancy and this is referred to as twin pregnancies. Here, the woman may have molar tissues developing alongside a baby on the womb. Needless to say, this is a critical situation and treatments for this will have to be thought out very carefully.
There are rare instances in twin pregnancies wherein a baby develops normally and more importantly is delivered healthy at the end of the gestation term. However, in most cases doctors are skeptical about the growth of a baby if molar tissues are present in the womb. The very nature of twin pregnancy makes it fraught with complications.
Molar tissues are removed from the womb through a surgical procedure. In the case of partial moles, post surgery, the patient is given precautionary medication. There are also instances wherein a miscarriage eliminates the moles in the womb. In such cases no other cure is required, except some rest and quiet. In complete moles, post surgery, the woman may have to undergo therapy to ensure complete elimination and prevention of molar tissue development. Chemotherapy is an oft-used treatment when doctors suspect that the tumor is cancerous. The same is the case with twin pregnancies.
Molar pregnancy is diagnosed through an ultrasound. If the woman has complete moles and has undergone chemotherapy, then she needs to refrain from trying for another baby for a minimum period of six months. This is to eliminate a possible recurrence of another molar pregnancy. Also chemotherapy often has after effects and the body needs time to recover from these.
The cancerous growth in the womb is referred to as trophoblastic cancer. While the word cancer always sounds ominous, it’s important to know that this cancer is completely curable with medication and chemotherapy. If the cancerous growth has recurring tendencies then doctors also recommend hysterectomy as a permanent solution.