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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2012, Article ID 704039, 4 pages
Case Report

Virilisation during Pregnancy in a Patient with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

1General Surgical Department, Wishaw General Hospital, 50 Netherton Street, Wishaw ML2 0DP, UK
2Clinical Laboratories, Wishaw General Hospital, 50 Netherton Street, Wishaw ML2 0DP, UK

Received 25 April 2012; Accepted 20 September 2012

Academic Editors: K. Honma and Y. Rino

Copyright © 2012 F. Conway et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes the case of a 25-year-old woman with virilisation occurring during pregnancy in the presence of metastatic colorectal cancer. Virilisation during pregnancy is rare. The potential causes include adrenal, foetal, or ovarian pathologies. The most common causes during pregnancy are pregnancy luteoma and hyperreactio luteinalis. The incidence of cancer during pregnancy is rare and the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in pregnancy is even rarer. The presenting signs and symptoms of CRC can be confused with symptoms commonly encountered during pregnancy, thereby delaying diagnosis and commencement of treatment. Diagnosis and staging also proves more problematic in the pregnant patient as the usual modalities of colonoscopy with biopsy and imaging with CT are relatively contraindicated. Treatment is dependent on gestational age of the foetus. There is currently no agreed best practice as to the role of prophylactic oophorectomy in the prevention of metachronous ovarian metastases. Surgical and adjuvant treatments have implications for females of child-bearing age.