Cancer of the Placenta Treatment
Treatment options for choriocarcinoma often includes some combination of chemotherapy, dilation and curettage, and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy uses medications that either kill cancer cells directly, or interfere with their metabolism. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to directly kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy delivers a focused beam of radiation to the cancer so that any damage to surrounding tissue is minimized. Hysterectomy may be recommended for some patients.
Treatment for choriocarcinoma may include:
- Chemotherapy for choriocarcinoma
- Radiation therapy for choriocarcinoma
- Surgery for choriocarcinoma
A dilation and curettage (D and C) is a surgical procedure where the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is removed. Before this can be done the cervix needs to be dilated. The dilation portion of the procedure refers to opening the cervix. This allows for the passage of special surgical instruments that are used to remove the endometrium. One of these instruments is called a curette. It is used to gently scrape away the endometrial lining. Recovery from a D and C in most cases is very rapid. There may be some vaginal bleeding and mild pain for about one day. Within a few days, most women resume normal activities.
Risks of dilation and curettage include:
Cancer of the Placenta Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of choriocarcinoma.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- Are my children at risk for this condition?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Continue to Cancer of the Placenta Home Care
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- Bailey JL, Hinton EA, Ashfaq R, Schorge JO. Primary abdominal gestational choriocarcinoma. Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Nov;102(5 Pt 1):988-90. 
- Kim SJ. Placental site trophoblastic tumour. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Dec;17(6):969-84.