In the News
Younger women with early-stage ovarian cancer can keep the healthy ovary and uterus, according to the September 15, 2009, issue of Cancer. An examination of 16 years of data showed that women 50 years of age or younger who retained one ovary during surgery survived as long as women who had both ovaries removed. In a different group of ovarian cancer patients, survival was the same among women who kept their uterus and those who underwent a hysterectomy. Such fertility-conserving surgery is more likely to occur in women who are younger, live in the eastern or western United States, or have been diagnosed recently. As much as 17% of ovarian tumors occur in women of reproductive age. Other studies show that 71% of ovarian cancer patients who undergo conservative surgery are able to conceive later and deliver healthy babies. However, there are benefits other than future children to preserving fertility, as the study authors point out: "Surgical menopause in young women increases the risk of coronary disease, osteoporosis and hip fracture, and cognitive dysfunction."