hydatidiform mole

Definition / meaning of hydatidiform mole

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 hydatidiform mole 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. Hydatidiform mole is the most common type of gestational trophoblastic tumor. Also called molar pregnancy.

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The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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