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Supportive careSupportive careTreatment given to improve the quality of life of people who have a serious illness (such as cancer). helps people meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD). It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of people living with cancer and their loved ones, especially after treatment has ended.
Recovering from GTD and adjusting to life after treatment is different for each woman, depending on the extent of the disease, the type of treatment and many other factors. The end of treatment may bring mixed emotions. Even though treatment has ended, there may be other issues to deal with, such as coping with long-term side effects. A woman who has been treated for GTD may have the following concerns.
Most women can have normal pregnancies after being treated for GTD, as long as they did not have their uterus removed (hysterectomy).
The chemotherapy drugs used to treat GTD do not appear to greatly affect fertility.
Women should wait a period of time after treatment before getting pregnant. An effective contraceptive method, usually oral contraceptives, is recommended during this time.
Women with a history of GTD have a higher risk of having another gestational tumour with future pregnancies. All future pregnancies in women with a history of GTD will be followed carefully.
Some women may become pregnant sooner than is recommended after treatment (6 months or longer for hydatidiform mole and up to 2 years for malignant GTD). Most women will have a normal and healthy pregnancy. However, researchers have found that a pregnancy in the first 6 months after treatment for malignant GTD may have a higher risk of:
A woman will have an ultrasound early in her pregnancy to look for signs of GTD.
Women who have been treated for GTD may also have concerns about the following:
Some women may find it helpful to speak to a counsellor to help them deal with any concerns.
We realize that our efforts cannot even be compared to what women face when they hear the words ... ‘you have cancer.’
Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.