Metro woman fighting for her life, battling rare placenta cancer

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Inside the University of Kansas Cancer Center Myika Marshall cuddled with her newborn son. But instead of sleepless nights with her baby, and chasing around her other two kids, she’s fighting for her life.

“They’re struggling. It’s really hard to understand why your mom is not home. My son asks me all the time, `why are you in the hospital again?’,” Marshall said.

Marshall was diagnosed with a rare cancer called choriocarcinoma. It’s caused by abnormal placenta cells in the uterus.

Doctors found the cancer because of excessive bleeding after she gave birth in March. Now, it’s also spread to her lungs.

“It’s complicated. But the type of cancer I have, my baby technically shouldn’t have made it. The fact that he’s alive and he’s well, it gives me a lot of strength and a lot of encouragement,” Marshall said.

She also finds strength through her faith. Shortly after her diagnosis, Marshall began chemotherapy treatment.

“On paper, it looks really crazy. The peace that I have, that can only come from God,” Marshall said.

Marshall’s doctor is optimistic about her chance of beating this.

“This is not like a cancer that doesn’t respond to chemotherapy. This is exquisitely chemotherapy sensitive. She has a very good chance of doing well,” University of Kansas Health System Gynecologic Oncologist, Dr. Lori Spoozak said.

Powered by her faith and trust in her doctors, Marshall is ready to attack this cancer head on.

Marshall’s doctor says it’s important to be in tune with your body. If something doesn’t feel right, get it looked at by a professional.

Dr. Spoozak expects Marshall to make a full recovery because she caught this cancer early.



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