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A Rare Pregnancy-Related Cancer I Never Heard Of — Have You?

Rare Pregnancy-Related CancerEvery now and again, a truly awful story emerges about some totally rare and tragic pregnancy and/or birth that makes me rethink ever getting pregnant again.

But then I realize that I lived through my own rare and tragic pregnancy, and the likelihood of lightning striking twice (as the old saying goes) is, well, unlikely. And when I come across other women’s stories, I’m quickly reminded of how it could always be worse.

Such is the case with the latest news about a new mom in upstate New York who had to have an emergency C-section for (at the time) unknown reasons, only to quickly be diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer that is directly related to being pregnant.

She’s currently on life support, while her twins — born 9 weeks early weighing about 3 pounds each — fight like champs in the NICU.

According to the NY Daily News article, the 26-year-old mom underwent a successful emergency C-section after being rushed to the hospital. Her twin girls were safely delivered 9 weeks early, but she immediately began coughing up blood after they were born.

The mom is now in a medically induced coma.

It’s a heartbreaking story, and as I read it, I wondered how many other women don’t even know about this rare pregnancy-related cancer, known as choriocarcinoma. Even though most of us know women (some of us might even be these women) who have had pregnancies without any major issues, we’re always aware of the fact that pregnancy can, in fact, be dangerous. 

But this story takes it to a whole new level.

The rare cancer that this mom is now battling forms in the placenta and “spreads quickly” — so quickly that this pregnancy-related cancer is now in the mother’s lungs, and she is unable to breathe on her own.

I can’t even imagine the agony her family must be going through. And, to add to their turmoil, the machine that’s needed to help rid her body of the cancer costs $100,000 a day to operate. Yet another prime example of the totally messed up health care system in our country.

$100,000 a day.

Her husband is a U.S. Army Sergeant, which makes a medical bill like this an even bigger slap in the face, if you ask me. And, really, at a time like this, should medical costs even be a concern? Sadly, they are in this country. Yet at the same time, if this mother suffered from this condition in countless other countries in the world, she wouldn’t even have a fighting chance right now.

I hope and pray for the sake of her twin daughters and her husband that she beats this.

And I’m wondering how many of you have never heard of choriocarcinoma?

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Read the entire story from its source: NY Daily News
Photo: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott via Flickr Creative Commons

Read more of Aela’s writing on Babble and at Two Moms Make a Right.
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While You Were Puking: Pregnancy Medical News Update

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