You May Not Be Pregnant- You May Have Cancer

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Rachel Reynolds

Earlier today I shared Rachel’s Journey. Now, I want to talk a little more about her cancer.

Rachel thought she may have been pregnant. Approximately last July,2013 Rachel took a pregnancy test. The test came up positive. Rachel was afraid to tell her parents at the age of 17 she thought she was pregnant. Rachel took several test and they all came up positive. Rachel was on a antibiotic and was late with her menstrual cycle. Rachel went to a doctor and was confirmed again with a positive test. Then, her cycle came back and she assumed she had miscarried. Rachel had never told her parents about this because she thought everything was normal again. As, Rachel’s health started to decline more, she told her mom about the pregnancy test and how she thought she was pregnant.

Rachel was never pregnant to begin with, she never miscarried. The cancer she had cause HCG the same hormone produced during pregnancy. With Rachel not knowing she had cancer , this gave the tumor time to grow. From July until January when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that had already spread through out her body and several organs. Treatment didn’t start until Feb. 2014. Rachel’s cancer had a full 8 months to grow before she even began chemo.

Rachel’s mom, Julie would like all young girls to talk with someone if you ever afraid to talk with their own parents.

How some cancerous tumors can produce positive pregnancy tests even when there is NO pregnancy.

Germ Cell

  • Germ cell tumors include a diverse group of tumors that arise from primitive germinal cells in either the gonads (ovaries, testicles) or non-gonadal sites (brain, chest, tailbone).
  • They can be non-cancerous, benign (for example, teratomas), or malignant (examples, choriocarcinoma, endodermal sinus tumor, germinoma) or tumors with a mixture of these components (for example, immature teratoma with endodermal sinus tumor component )

Factors

  • Germ cell tumors are more common in patients with Klinefelter syndrome or with a history of an undescended testicle.
  • Many germ cell tumors produce proteins that can be measured in the blood as tumor markers. The two most commonly elevated tumor markers are alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). When elevated, their measurement is useful in monitoring the response to treatment, whether it involves surgery, chemotherapy or both.

As you can see that Germ Cell produces HCG. This is what pregnant women produces when pregnant. Women or young ladies may not even notice the systems in the ovaries. There are many treatment options and clinical tests to determine what is best for the patient.

Rachel also had another type of cancer. The doctors was not 100% sure what Rachel had. Sarcoma was mentioned a few times.

What is Sarcoma?

Cancerous (malignant) tumors of the connective tissues are called “sarcomas”. The term sarcoma comes from a Greek word meaning fleshy growth. Sarcoma arises in the connective tissue of the body. Normal connective tissue include, fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues, and cartilage. Sarcomas are divided into two main groups, bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas. They are further sub-classified based on the type of presumed cell of origin found in the tumor. They all share certain microscopic characteristics and have similar symptoms. Sarcomas can develop in children and adults. For children under 20 approximately 15 percent of cancer diagnosis are sarcomas. Although rare, there are approximately 14,000 new cases of sarcoma diagnosed each year in the United States. In general sarcomas are divided into the large groups of soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcomas.

Sarcoma Cancer is rare. They really can not pin point what causes Sarcoma.

Rachel spent a good bit of time at the Sloan Kettering hospital in New York. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, their multidisciplinary team of experts provides the highest-quality diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation, as well as access to innovative therapies through their clinical trials. If you have soft tissue sarcoma, they will work to give you the best chance of survival and high quality of life.

 

 

Comments

  1. What a sad story! I wish this young girl had been brave enough to tell her parents that she thought she was pregnant. She might still be alive today. 🙁

  2. I’ve read this story as well as the news story… I really wish kids would tell their parents when something is up. A pregnancy (teen or not) is not the end of the world. Parents need to support their children (not saying these parents didn’t) and let them know, that no matter what it’s okay to talk to them.

    A positive pregnancy test – A missed sign – And now a legacy that lives on in Rachel’s name. Sad story and I wish your daughter Madison the best in accepting and dealing with the loss of her friend, as well as strength for the parents and family of Rachel.

    • Shannon says:

      Thanks Danielle,
      Rachel’s mom was on the news last night. She really wants young girls to talk to someone because you never know.

  3. Such an important message to share. I had no idea!

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