Sarah Cocchiara, 31 years old, from New York first thought that she was pregnant after the stick showed a positive sign. But when she went to visit a doctor, Cocchiara was informed that the baby was not there—no heartbeats, no fetus—but instead signs that she was having womb cancer, The Sun reports.
Cocchiara’s tumor had caused the abnormal rise in levels of hormones the same amount that a pregnancy would’ve caused, which made her pregnancy test came back positive. She was eventually diagnosed with choriocarcinoma, which is “a rare type of cancer that appears when the placental cells separate and become cancerous,” according to The Sun.
Fortunately, doctors managed to remove the tumor from Cocchiara and entered remission after a year.
Cocchiara said, “I couldn’t believe it at first, I was so sure that I was pregnant again and never in a million years did I think it would turn out to be cancer.
“My symptoms mimicked my first pregnancy, I had missed a period, my breasts were tender, I was irritable and hungry all the time. But my hormone levels were sky high which later alerted doctors to the cancer.”
Her tumor was removed just in time before it had continued to spread throughout her body.
Cocchiara said, “Doctors are unsure of how it happened but somehow cells from my placenta broke away and escaped out of my uterus, they also had to remove my right fallopian tube.
“With Madison, I had a natural labor that seemed to be completely normal, nothing went wrong and there were no signs that anything unusual had happened.”
A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin is present in the woman’s urine when she is pregnant. However, they can also be detected when a cancer in the reproductive system occurs.
Cocchiara said, “After taking the pregnancy test I went to a clinic to get checked out, nothing was found on the ultra sound which I assumed meant I was really early or I had an ectopic pregnancy.
“But after further tests, I was diagnosed with cancer and needed six lots of chemo over a 12-week period, I lost my hair but surprisingly that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
“I actually felt quite free, it made me realize that there are other things in life that make you look and feel beautiful and my daughter was a huge part of that. During the last week of my chemo I had a concentrated amount every day and then my bloods were taken and monitored every month for the rest of the year.”
Cocchiara still has a high chance of getting pregnant. But for now, she wanted to focus on raising her daughter first before things started coming back again.