Preserving Fertility

Cervical cancer doesn't mean the end of childbearing

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A radical hysterectomy used to be the only way to treat cervical cancer. The surgery left a woman with no chance of having children. Today, women have gentler choices that preserve fertility.

Researchers have found that a radical tracheloctomy (RT), which leaves the uterus intact, is just as effective as a radical hysterectomy (RH) in treating early cervical cancer. This less invasive surgery is also safer and gives women a better chance of conceiving and delivering healthy babies.

"Discuss radical tracheloctomy options to treat early cervical cancer."

A RH surgically removes all of a woman's reproductive organs, including the ovaries if a woman so chooses. Afterwards, a woman can no longer have children.

A radical trachelectomy (RT) leaves the womb untouched and preserves a woman's ability to concieve. While this procedure has been used for over a decade now, no long-term studies have been conducted to measure its efficacy and safety.

Chinese researchers looked at previous studies and performed a meta-analysis of those results. These studies included three controlled clinical trials involving 587 women.

Scientists looked at the differences in five-year recurrence and survival rates, along with complications that occurred with both surgery types performed on women with early cervical cancer.

They found there were no significant difference in the rates of the cancer returning (recurrence), 5-year recurrence-free survival rate or 5-year overall survival rate.

Investigators did find that the RT did result in less blood loss and faster recovery periods compared with RH. Also, RT helped women retain close to normal fertility, while RH leaves patients sterile.

The findings were published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 22, 2011
Last Updated:
July 25, 2011