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Signs and symptoms of gestational trophoblastic disease
A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). Some women with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) do not experience signs and symptoms because blood tests and ultrasound during prenatal care find most types of GTD early, before it causes any signs or symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of GTD include:
- vaginal bleeding
- swelling of the abdomen
- With a hydatidiform mole, the abdomen and uterus may grow at a much faster rate than with a normal pregnancy.
- ovarian cysts (luteoma)
- nausea and vomiting
- Some women have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes nausea and vomiting that is often much worse than what may occur during a normal pregnancy.
- passing of tissue resembling a “bunch of grapes” from the vagina
- lack of fetal movement during pregnancy
Rare signs and symptoms
Rare signs and symptoms of GTD are:
- anemia (if bleeding is severe or lasts for a long time)
- pre-eclampsia, a condition characterized by:
- high blood pressure
- abnormal amounts of protein in the urine
- swelling of the hands and feet
- overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) that causes:
- rapid heartbeat
- warm skin
- feeling “too hot”
- abdominal or pelvic pain
- vaginal discharge
Late signs and symptoms
Late signs and symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs.
- coughing up blood
- dry cough
- chest pain
- trouble breathing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundicejaundiceA condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow and urine is dark yellow.)
- gradual loss of the ability to move a body part (paralysis)
- trouble speaking
- vision problems
- lump in the vagina
Facing the financial burden of cancer
The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.