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Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) Diagnosis

Gynecologic cancer specialists at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center understand the need for an accurate and quick diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), or placental cancer, to ensure treatment begins in a timely and efficient manner.

If there are symptoms of GTD or placental cancer, a gynecologist may use several tests to see if the patient has a gestational trophoblastic tumor. Results of these tests can confirm a GTD diagnosis and establish the stage of the disease.

Our gynecologic oncologists have extensive experience in gynecologic surgery, and also oversee all medical oncology treatments such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy. They are joined with radiologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists to develop an appropriate treatment plan customized for each patient with GTD.

Our cancer specialists at Penn Medicine are highly experienced in using the most advanced techniques for diagnosing cancer and are actively researching better and more precise ways to detect cancer.

Screening for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

If you have a prior history of one or more molar pregnancies, you should speak with your doctor to understand your risk of developing future molar pregnancies. If there are symptoms, your doctor may use several screening tests to see if you have a gestational trophoblastic tumor.

Screening tests for GTD include:

  • An internal (pelvic) examination. The doctor feels for any lumps or abnormalities in the shape or size of the uterus.
  • Ultrasound. A test that uses sound waves to "see" tumors.
  • Blood test. A blood test will also be done to look for high levels of a hormone called beta-HCG (beta human chorionic gonadotropin), which is present during a normal pregnancy. If a woman is not pregnant and HCG is in the blood, it may be a sign of a gestational trophoblastic tumor.

Navigating a GTD diagnosis and treatment options can be difficult. If you receive a GTD diagnosis, our nurses are available and ready to help connect you with the right physician.

To connect with a nurse at Penn Medicine, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).

GTD Diagnostic Tools

We utilize the latest, cutting-edge diagnostic tests and tools to diagnose gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Staging GTD

Staging gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) can help physicians at the Abramson Cancer Center develop a treatment plan specifically for you.