IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 24 / Issue 3-4 / pii/2003152

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.


Oncologic and reproductive outcome after fertility-saving surgery in ovarian cancer

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1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
2 Visiting doctor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Firat University, Ankara, Turkey
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2003, 24(3-4), 223–232;
Published: 10 June 2003

The rate of ovarian tumour diagnosis in reproductive age woman has increased parallel to the improvements in diagnostic methods and regular gynaecological visits. Because of this organ saving surgical procedures for the preservation of repro­ductive and endocrine functions have gained more interest. Conservative surgical approaches for ovarian tumours after sur­gical staging include cystectomy, unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy plus contralateral cystectomy. Ovarian tumours diagnosed in young ages tend to be low-stage low-grade malignancies. This not only enables but also necessitates preserving the fertility of women who have not completed their family. In invasive ovarian cancer, fertility saving surgery is confined to early-stage and low-grade disease. But, it also had been reported in advanced stages (up to Stage Illc). Candidates for those procedures were selected according to the FIGO stage, grade, ploidy state, histological subtypes and patients'desire. Adjuvant chemotherapy is necessary for high-risk patients. The rate of recurrence following conservative and radical surgical procedures in low-stage and low-grade tumours are 9% and 11.6%, respectively; and disease-free and overall survival rates do not differ significantly. Prognosis of borderline ovarian tumours is excellent. Five and 20-year survival rates are 95% and 80%, respectively. Mana­gement of borderline tumours has evolved significantly in the last few decades. In contrast to invasive ovarian cancer, bor­derline tumours can be operated on conservatively at all stages. Chemotherapy is rarely prescribed even in advanced stages. Eighty percent of malignant germ cell tumours are diagnosed less than 30 years of age, and 70-75% of patients have Stage I disease. Conservative surgery is generally used in malignant germ cell tumours even in advanced stages. The relation between ovulation induction and tumour recurrence is not consistent in the literature. Spontaneous pregnancy rates following fertility saving surgery has been reported as 60-88%. Because of this over-treatment of these patients for fer­tility should be avoided. Briefly, fertility saving surgery can be performed safely in germ cell, borderline and early stage epithelial ovarian tumours in selected cases. Any increment in the rate of tumour recurrence following ovulation induction has not yet been demon­strated. Menstrual irregularities caused by chemotherapy are transient. The congenital malformation rate of ovarian cancer patients is slightly higher than that of the normal population, but no significant difference has been observed between patients who received or did not receive chemotherapy.

Ovarian cancer
Fertility saving surgery
Oncologic outcome
Fertility outcome
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