The Short of It
A British woman has passed away after doctors realized her pregnancy was actually a deadly tumor.
Makeup artist Demi Wright was just 22 years old when she died. She had received a terrifying diagnosis of terminal adenocarcinoma just three weeks earlier.
Her medical odyssey began in November, when Wright began experiencing pain in her side, and she went to the hospital. Because her body was producing hormones similar to those of a pregnant woman, doctors first mistook the nearly 5-inch tumor to mean she was expecting a baby, and they admitted her to the maternity ward.
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But what Wright was experiencing was a molar pregnancy, which is when an egg is fertilized, but instead of developing into a fetus, it becomes an abnormal mass of cells that forms into a benign tumor. Rarely, this condition can turn into cancer.
Signs of a molar pregnancy, some of which mimic early pregnancy symptoms, include:
- First trimester dark brown to bright red vaginal bleeding
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Vaginal passage of grape-like cysts
- Pelvic pressure or pain, although this is rare
- Rapid growth of the uterus
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In Wright's case, the tumor became cancerous and aggressive, and she died shortly after learning her condition was terminal. Wright's cousin has set up a fundraising page in her memory.
"When we found out the cancer was terminal, she lifted herself up, she patted the bed and said, 'Dad, come and sit here.' She gave me a big hug and said: 'It's going to be okay,'" Wright's father Chris told the Daily Gazette. "The next day, she passed away."
The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of a molar pregnancy, as clearly the condition can be serious. Still, what happened to this young woman is very rare; a molar pregnancy occurs in just one in every 1,000 pregnancies.
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Many times the molar mass can be removed and women make a full recovery. Nevertheless, Wright's story is very scary and serves as an important reminder to listen to your body and seek medical attention if something doesn't feel right.