Celebs

'Little Couple' doctor Jen Arnold's cancer grew from pregnancy loss

Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM ET

IMAGE: Jen Arnold
TLC
Jen Arnold of TLC's "The Little Couple" is opening up about her rare cancer.

Dr. Jen Arnold, star of TLC's "The Little Couple," revealed to People magazine that the cancer she has came after a non-viable pregnancy.

"The one time I get pregnant, I get cancer," Arnold, a Houston neonatologist, told the magazine.

Arnold, 39, revealed her cancer diagnosis last week, but now shared more details. She and husband Bill Klein were in India to adopt daughter Zoey when Arnold experienced bleeding, and had to return to Texas for treatment before the adoption was completed. (Klein stayed behind to complete the adoption.) 

She was later diagnosed with stage 3 choriocarcinoma, a rare cancer that began with a September pregnancy loss. In this form of cancer, the disease begins in the cells that would become the placenta.

Treatment for the disease is complicated by Arnold's dwarfism. "We wanted to avoid surgery in her case because of her shortened airway and the difficulties she has had in the past with surgeries," Dr. Concepcion R. Diaz-Arrastia told the magazine. "But we felt we had no choice. The disease was not responding to chemotherapy. We had to do this in order to save her life."

Diaz-Arrastia said she reached out to other medical professionals, but Arnold's set of circumstances was unusual. "It was a very rare cancer, rare that it was found in a little person … a very rare situation." 

"The Little Couple" has been following Arnold and Klein's life as a working couple with dwarfism since 2009. Recent episodes have focused on their struggles to have a family. The couple traveled to China to adopt son Will, 3, who also has dwarfism before adopting Zoey. 

Arnold and Klein have been tweeting about their news, with supporting fans responding using the hashtag #GetWellJen.


Future episodes of "The Little Couple" will document Arnold's fight against cancer as well as Zoey's adoption. A marathon of episodes airs Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. on TLC.


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