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Study shows younger women with endometrial cancer can safely keep ovaries, avoid early menopause
Date:1/28/2009

In this New Digest:

  • Summary of study being published online January 26, 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,showing no survival difference between premenopausal women with early-stage endometrial cancer whose ovaries were left intact during cancer surgery compared with those whose ovaries were surgically removed.
  • Quote for attribution from Beth Karlan, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology gynecologic cancer expert and Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Links to additional information on Cancer.Net, ASCO's patient Web site

Study Summary

In the largest study to date on the safety of ovarian preservation in women aged 45 and younger who were surgically treated for early-stage endometrial cancer, researchers have found that there is no survival benefit associated with surgical removal of the ovaries, compared to women whose ovaries were left intact. Leaving the ovaries in place could spare many women from the side effects of surgery-induced early menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, as well as the long-term increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and hip fractures.

"Our research suggests that oncologists may no longer need to remove the ovaries during surgery in younger women with early-stage endometrial cancer, which has been the standard approach for many years. Leaving the ovaries intact appears to be a safe option that offers women a range of important short- and long-term health and quality of life benefits," said lead author Jason D. Wright, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

Surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) is the standard of care for endometrial cancer. During the procedure, surgeons usually remove the ovaries as well, a procedure called
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Contact: Kelly Powell
kelly.powell@asco.org
571-483-1365
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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