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Treatment

Types of treatment

Your doctor will advise you on the best treatment for you. This will depend on the results of your tests, the type of gestational trophoblastic disease, if it has spread, your age, your general health, and what you want.

Treatment choice may also depend on whether you want to become pregnant in the future.

Two kinds of standard treatment are used: surgery and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery or alone.

Radiotherapy may be used in certain cases to treat gestational trophoblastic disease that has spread to other parts of the body.

Hydatidiform mole

Treatment may be one of the following:

  • removal of the mole using a minor surgical procedure called dilation and curettage (D & C) and suction evacuation
  • rarely, surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy).

Following surgery, your doctor will follow you closely with regular blood tests to make sure your level of hCG falls to normal levels. If the level of hCG increases or does not go down to normal, more tests will be done to see whether the tumour has spread. Treatment will then depend on whether you have nonmetastatic disease or metastatic disease.

Placental-site gestational trophoblastic tumour

Treatment will probably be surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy).

Nonmetastatic gestational trophoblastic neoplasia

Treatment may be one of the following:

  • chemotherapy
  • surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) if you no longer wish to have children.

Metastatic gestational trophoblastic neoplasia with good prognosis

Treatment may be one of the following:

  • chemotherapy
  • surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) followed by chemotherapy
  • chemotherapy followed by hysterectomy if disease remains following chemotherapy.

Metastatic gestational trophoblastic neoplasia with poor prognosis

Treatment will probably be chemotherapy. Radiotherapy may also be given to places where the cancer has spread, such as the brain.

Treatment given after the main treatment to increase the chances of a cure is called adjuvant therapy. Treatment given before the main treatment is called neoadjuvant treatment.

If you want to try complementary therapies, which are generally used in conjunction with conventional treatment, it is important that you discuss this with your doctors and health professionals.