A rare pregnancy related cancer found in a young woman in upstate New York has left her in a medically induced coma. Jenna Hinman went to the hospital on March 3, 2014 when she could not breathe. The doctors rushed to deliver her daughters, nine weeks early, and then determined after the twins were born that mom was suffering from an extremely rare pregnancy related cancer. The twins are in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) now, when they were delivered on the third they weighed just three pounds each. After the babies were delivered Hinman started coughing up blood, the doctors first feared that she had contracted pneumonia. However after further tests it was revealed that she had a rare placenta cancer called choriocarcinoma.
According to the American Cancer Association (ACA), choriocarcinoma is one of five types of gestational trophoblastic diseases. Gestational trophoblastic diseases (GTD), can range from moles to tumors. A GTD normally forms in the layer of cells known as the trophoblast, which surrounds the embryo, with most GTD’s being benign, meaning they are not cancerous. The ACA states on their website that all forms of GTD’s are treatable and that in most cases the treatment results in a complete recovery.
The most common type of GTD is known as a molar pregnancy. The cancer that was found in Hinman is the type of GTD that grows quicker than other forms and is more likely to spread to other organs. The ACA states that GTD’s occur in roughly 1 in every 1000 pregnancies and most commonly these are the molar pregnancies. The type of cancer that Hinman was diagnosed with is extremely rare occurring in 2 to 7 of every 100,000 pregnancies. This type of cancer accounts for less than 1% of all female reproductive cancers, and is more common in African and Asian countries than in the United States.
Hinman’s husband is hopeful that the prognosis will be good, and that his wife and daughters will be able to leave the hospital soon. In an interview he said that he hopes they will hold hands and walk out of the hospital with the twins. Doctors say that she was touch and go last week, but the husband is hopeful saying that during one of his visits she seemed to respond to his voice and touch. The treatment for her cancer is extremely expensive and a go-fund-me account has been set up to help the family pay for it. The family is also asking for prayers for the twins and mom.
Hinman’s husband has been splitting his time between his wife’s bedside in the adult intensive care unit and the babies in the NICU. The extremely rare pregnancy related cancer has filled the 26-year-olds body with tumors and lesions. The amount of tumors in her lungs has caused breathing problems and the breathing apparatus that has to be used runs about $100,000 a day. So far the family has stated that they have raised approximately $57,000 through their go-fund-me account.
By Rachel Woodruff
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