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The effect of preserving pregnancy in cervical cancer diagnosed during pregnancy: a retrospective study

BMC Womens Health. 2022 Jul 25;22(1):314. doi: 10.1186/s12905-022-01885-w.


OBJECTIVE: Cervical cancer diagnosed during pregnancy is a rare event, and data regarding efficacy of cancer treatment during pregnancy is limited. This study aimed to assess the safety of continuation of the pregnancy for mother and fetus when concomitantly diagnosed with cervical cancer.

METHODS: This study retrospectively analyzed all cervical cancer patients diagnosed while pregnant or immediately postpartum, inclusive from Jan 2010 to June 2019 at our institute. Patient clinical details and follow-up were obtained from hospital records.

RESULTS: The study comprised 40 patients with clinical cancer stages of IA1 (1/40, 2.5%); IB1 (15/40, 37.5%); IB2 (10/40, 25%); IIA (12/40, 30%); and IIB (2/40, 5%). There were 38 patients diagnosed during pregnancy, and 2 diagnosed in the postpartum period. Of the 38 patients, 17 were diagnosed in the first trimester, 13 in the second trimester, and 8 in the third trimester. 10 of 38 patients (26.3%) continued their pregnancy after learning of their diagnosis; 7 (70%) in the third trimester and 3 (30%) in the second trimester. The mean time from diagnosis to surgery in the patients who continued their pregnancy was 52.7 days, which was statistically significantly greater than the termination of pregnancy group (52.7 vs. 16.3 days, P < 0.01). Notably, there was no survival difference between the 2 groups (100% vs. 90.91%, P = 0.54), and none of the pregnant women who ultimately died had delayed treatment due to pregnancy. Similarly, the surgical estimated blood loss and operative duration comparison in the 2 groups were not significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, the gestational age of pregnancy at the time of initial diagnosis of cervical cancer was an important determinant in the disease management. Continuation of the pregnancy when diagnosed with cervical cancer may not affect the oncologic outcome of the mother nor increase either surgical or obstetric complications. Additionally, the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy did not threaten the health of the fetus. These results may be useful in counseling patients facing the diagnosis of cervical cancer during pregnancy.

PMID:35879712 | DOI:10.1186/s12905-022-01885-w

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