Human chorionic gonadotropin

    In molecular biology, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the fertilized egg after conception. Later during pregnancy it is made by the developing placenta, and later by the placental component syncytiotrophoblast. Some cancerous tumors produce this hormone; therefore, elevated levels measured when the patient is not pregnant can lead to a cancer diagnosis. However, it is not known whether this production is a contributing cause or an effect of tumorigenesis.

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