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27-07-2016 | Gynecologic cancers | Article

Fertility preservation in women with cervical, endometrial or ovarian cancers

Gynecologic Oncology Research and Practice

Authors: Michael Feichtinger, Kenny A. Rodriguez-Wallberg

Publisher: BioMed Central



Although cancer in general affects an aged population, a significant number of women develop cancer at childbearing age. Long-term survival rates after gynecological cancer, especially in young patients are increasing and all quality-of-life aspects, including preservation of fertility have become of major relevance.


Surgical techniques aimed at sparing reproductive organs and preserving fertility have been developed for women presenting with gynecological cancer found at early stages. Indications for fertility-sparing surgery are in general restricted to women presenting with a well-differentiated low-grade tumor in its early stages or with low malignant potential. Up to now, use of fertility-sparing techniques in well-selected patients has not been shown to affect overall survival negatively and fertility outcomes reported have been favorable. Still larger amounts of data and longer follow-up periods are needed. Several current fertility-sparing cancer treatments may result in sub-fertility and in those cases assisted reproductive techniques are indicated. Overall quality of life has been satisfactory in cancer patients after fertility-sparing surgery.


Fertility-sparing surgery is a viable tool to enable gynecological cancer patients of young age to fulfill their family building without impairment of oncological outcome. Cancer patients of reproductive age should undergo fertility counseling to analyze this sensitive subject. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of fertility-sparing treatment and combined adjuvant therapy in higher-grade cancers.

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