Home | National | Little Couple star Jen Arnold reveals her cancer of uterus was caused by nonviable pregnancy

Little Couple star Jen Arnold reveals her cancer of uterus was caused by nonviable pregnancy

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Reality TV star, 39, was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the uterus after bleeding during a trip to adopt her daughter in India
  • She had fallen pregnant in August but the embryo had no heartbeat and when it was removed, leftover cells led to the cancer
  • Doctors later learned she had three tumors on her lungs
  • She has undergone chemo - but it has been complicated by her size because doctors have had to research how much to give her
  • Jen, whose husband and children have dwarfism, says prognosis is good

By Daily Mail Reporters

PUBLISHED: 10:54 EST, 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:08 EST, 11 December 2013



Jen Arnold, the star of reality TV show Little Couple, has revealed that her cancer of the uterus was caused by a non-viable pregnancy - and now the aggressive disease has spread to her lungs.

The Houston neonatologist broke the news about her diagnosis last week after she and husband Bill Klein, who both have dwarfism caused by a genetic condition, brought their second adopted child home to Texas.

Arnold, who now wears a wig, has now detailed the terrifying moment that she learned something was wrong - and how doctors have struggled to know what treatment is best due to her size.

'There are moments I feel just terrible,' she told People magazine. 'I can't believe it is happening. Other times, I feel like this is just a bump in the road.'

The couple, both 39, have one adopted son, Will, from China and they were in India to bring home their new daughter Zoey, 2, in October when Arnold began bleeding.

Desperate to stay with her daughter but feeling increasingly faint, Arnold made the difficult decision to return home.

Once back in the U.S., she was diagnosed with stage 3 choriocarcincoma, a cancer sparked by a non-viable pregnancy she had suffered.

Her fertility issues have been well documented on the show, and she was shocked when she became pregnant in August - although she said she was not surprised that an ultrasound showed the baby had no heartbeat.

Scroll down for video

Struggle: Jen and husband Bill have had a challenging few years as they tried to start a family

Struggle: Jen and husband Bill have had a challenging few years as they tried to start a family

Family: Jen and Bill hold their son Will's hands as they walk to lunch. The couple adopted him from China

Family: Jen and Bill hold their son Will's hands as they walk to lunch. The couple adopted him from China last year

'I had figured it wasn't going to be viable,' she told People magazine.

The embryo was removed but cells were left behind and sparked the quick-growing cancer. She began intensive chemotherapy while her husband was still in India.

But the mass in her uterus failed to respond to the chemo and grew four times its size - and then three tumors appeared in her lungs.

'Sometimes I think, "Seriously? Really? How can this be happening?"' she told People.

Doctors were forced to give her a hysterectomy - which they saw as their last resort because of Arnold's small ariway.

'We wanted to avoid surgery in her case because of her shortened airway and the difficulties she has had in the past with surgeries,' said Dr. Concepcion R. Diaz-Arrastia from Baylor College of Medicine.

Struggles: In her efforts to start a family Jen went through IVF and tried surrogacy

Struggles: In her efforts to start a family Jen went through multiple grueling rounds of IVF egg retrieval and tried surrogacy. The couple's surrogate miscarried and they turned to adoption

'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.'


Choriocarcinoma is a fast-growing form of cancer in the uterus that develops in women who are pregnant.

It can occur after a normal pregnancy and it is possible for a healthy baby to grow at the same time.

The cancer is most often caused by a hydatidiform mole, which is a tumor resulting from over-production of the tissue that is supposed to develop into the placenta - the organ that grows during pregnancy to feed the fetus.

Even after the mass is removed from the uterus, the abnormal cells can continue to grow and turn into cancer - as it did in Arnold's case.

Choriocarcinoma is an uncommon, but very often curable. Most women whose cancer has not spread can be cured and will still be able to have children.

One symptom is vaginal bleeding in a woman who recently had a hydatidiform mole or pregnancy, and chemotherapy is the main type of treatment.

A hysterectomy and radiation therapy are rarely needed.


Doctors were also faced with the issue of her size because they were unaware of how much chemotherapy to give her.

'I called oncologists in Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York, Houston,' Dr. Arrastia said, 'and no one had experience with treating this type of cancer in a person with skeletal dysplasia. It was a very rare cancer, rare that it was found in a little person … a very rare situation.'

Now doctors have upped her dosage and hope she will not suffer an infection that will set her back. If this is the case, doctor say her prognosis looks good.

'The treatment is rough,' Arnold said. 'But I have a chance of being cured. I just have to push through it.'

Although she said she was ready to battle through the cancer treatments, a tweet from Ms Arnold's husband last week suggested she was feeling frail.

Mr Klein tweeted: 'My darling wife released today that she is currently battling a form of cancer. Prayers are welcome, hugs are not due to her weakened state.'

Arnold's battle against cancer after welcoming Zoey home will be shared with fans on future episodes of The Little Couple.

The couple met through an online dating website for little people and married in 2009. Mr Klein says he first saw his wife when she was 10 and they were both having surgery at the same hospital.

The TLC series The Little Couple has documented their desire to start a family. It has so far spanned five seasons and will continue to chronicle their lives she Jen fights the disease.

Newlyweds: Bill and Jen show off their remodeled kitchen

Newlyweds: Bill and Jen show off their remodeled kitchen. They custom built their Texas home from the ground up to be accessible to their smaller stature

Happy couple: Jen and Bill have starred in the TLC series since their wedding in 2009

Happy couple: Jen and Bill have starred in the TLC series since their wedding in 2009

The couple decided to adopt because Jen's bone-growth disorder meant pregnancy was not advised for the 3ft 2in doctor and surrogacy failed.

The couple first adopted their son, Will, who was born in China. They welcomed him to their home in April after going to get him on a two-week trip to China featured on the show.

Both of the children they chose to adopt have dwarfism, and the couple of spoken of how their own experiences led to them wanting to help children with the same condition.

Read more:





Colorado News

Get the latest Colorado news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Colorado Newsday.
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article


Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››

  1. Spoiled’ teen takes parents to court (1.00)

  2. Terms of Service (0)

  3. Colorado Newsday Privacy Policy (0)

  4. Kim Kardashian denied access to Vanity Fair party (0)

  5. Russian troops threaten to shoot Ukrainian soldiers in tense stand-off (0)

  6. Drunk tractor driver decapitates three people in head-on crash (0)

  7. Boxer vows to fight on – after 51st defeat in row (0)

  8. Forbes rich list names world’s youngest billionaires (0)

  9. Pregnant woman drives kids into ocean in Florida (0)

  10. Oprah Winfrey tells Lindsay Lohan to ‘cut the bull****’ in trailer for new reality show Lindsay (0)

  11. Denver Man Michael McGinley threatened to kill wife in phone call at DA’s office (0)

  12. Couple stole little girl's iPod in Aurora (0)

  13. Former director of Breckenridge Film Festival Dawna Foxx given 5 years for embezzling $300K (0)

  14. Live CNN interview with rapper Talib Kweli almost ends in a storm-off when host Don Lemon disagrees about media coverage of Ferguson (0)

  15. Mo'ne Davis out of the Little League World Series: First girl to pitch a no-hitter won't progress to final after team loses to Chicago (0)

  16. Zac Efron pretends to puff on a joint as he films scenes for DJ movie We Are Your Friends (0)

  17. Warner Bros slammed for fat shaming in new Scooby-Doo movie as a 'cursed' Daphne morphs from a size 2 to a 'horror of horrors' size 8 (0)

  18. Newly single Gigi Hadid cuts a stylish figure in a black jumpsuit as she steps out in New York (0)

  19. Hulk Hogan, Ken Jeong to co-star in movie (0)

  20. Olympic swimmer takes her first steps on bionic legs just 11 weeks after accident that paralyzed her from the waist down (0)

  21. 'Taylor Swift may be boring but she's not a racist': Critics rubbish claims that singer's new twerking video 'perpetuates black stereotypes' (0)

  22. Freshman girl, 18, in critical condition after being impaled with golf club at fraternity party on the second day of college (0)

  23. Beluga whale plays with children during aquarium visit (0)

  24. 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' adds two to cast (0)

  25. Jordin Sparks to host national anthem special on PBS (0)

  26. Couple who kidnapped Amish sisters planned to make 7 and 12-year-old their slaves and used a dog to lure them to car (0)

  27. Jim Parsons says he's not engaged (0)

  28. Firefighters suffered electric shocks while helping students' ice bucket challenge - leaving captain critical  (0)

  29. Man caught by Walmart shopper filming up her skirt using a camera taped to the inside of his shoe  (0)

  30. Ninth time lucky? Microsoft set to unveil successor to widely panned Windows 8 software on September 30th (0)

  31. The paradise island that's dying of shame: How a sex scandal's poisonous legacy is destroying the remote British isle founded by the Bounty mutineers (0)

  32. ISIS is 'beyond anything we have ever seen,' says Chuck Hagel as details emerge of failed rescue attempt aimed at reclaiming James Foley (0)

  33. How a bad boss can make a whole team mean: Researchers say abusive leaders can 'infect' others (0)

  34. Cybermoth! Scientists reveal implant in insect that allows them to control it - and they plan to send it into dangerous buildings (0)

  35. British baby learns to feed herself at just three days old  (0)

  36. Ex-Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is living with a priest after moving out of the home he shared with his 'exhausting' wife (0)

  37. Man's best friend saves the day: Owner survives bear mauling after his pet Labrador fought back and the man was able to hit the bear with a rock (0)

  38. Sadistic reign of 'jihadi John': British murderer brutally beat hostages and staged terrifying executions before demanding £80million ransom to free US journalist he later beheaded on video (0)

  39. School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash (0)

  40. Obama must eradicate ISIS NOW - or pay the price later: Top Marine general says militants must be stamped out immediately, as Hagel admits they could become more dangerous than Al Qaeda (0)

  41. Darren Wilson did NOT suffer a broken eye socket but he did go to hospital with a swollen face (0)

  42. Bill Cosby, the mistress he dumped and took to dinner with her furious mom: The bizarre moment America's most beloved TV dad ditched girlfriend after cheating on his wife (0)

  43. Pope calls parents of James Foley and says they are in his prayers (0)

  44. ISIS offered to swap Foley for 'Lady Al Qaeda': Terrorists wanted return of MIT-graduate jailed in U.S. for planning 'mass casualty strike' with dirty bomb, ebola, and chemical weapon 'that spared children' (0)

  45. Blue Kalmbach sentenced to 11 years prison for carving a SWASTIKA into best friend's forehead (0)

  46. 'Ninja,' 29, charged with attempted homicide for attacking his uncle with a ball-peen hammer (0)

  47. Sleep really is big business: Hi-tech bedroom sensor invented by 22 year-old set to raise $2.5m on Kickstarter (0)

  48. Did Christopher Lee murder Erin Corwin to keep family together? (0)

  49. Would you name your child Icy? Kouture? Albino? The least popular names in the U.S. run the gamut from inventive to crazy (0)

  50. Evangeline Lilly reveals short bob haircut for 'Ant-Man' (0)