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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


molar pregnancy  listen  (MOH-ler PREG-nun-see)

  A slow-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta) after fertilization of an egg by a sperm. A molar pregnancy contains many cysts (sacs of fluid). It is usually benign (not cancer) but it may spread to nearby tissues (invasive mole). It may also become a malignant tumor called choriocarcinoma. Molar pregnancy is the most common type of gestational trophoblastic tumor. Also called hydatidiform mole.