Young women diagnosed with an early stage of ovarian cancer may be able to have surgery for the disease without losing their fertility.
Traditionally, treatment of ovarian cancer involves removal of both ovaries and the uterus, which puts younger women into menopause and ends their chances of bearing a child. But a study published Monday in the journal Cancer , by researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, showed that five-year survival rates for stage 1 ovarian cancer patients were the same for women who had both ovaries removed and women who had just the cancerous ovary removed , Chicago Tribune reports.
Meanwhile, Alison M. Stuebe, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her colleagues used information from 60,075 women who had given birth and participated in the Nurses' Health Study between 1997 and 2005.
Each woman completed a detailed questionnaire on demographic characteristics, body measurements and lifestyle factors with follow-up questionnaires every two years. Breastfeeding history was assessed in detail on the 1997 questionnaire and on each subsequent follow-up the women were asked to report whether they had been diagnosed with breast cancer , Xinhua reports.
“I was sort of stunned,” said Dr. Alison M. Stuebe, the first author of the study and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “It’s an impressive reduction in risk. Other studies either hadn’t looked at this or didn’t include enough women with a family history to find a statistically significant difference.” , New York Times reports.