Hysterectomy Linked to Better Cervical Cancer Survival

Study finds improved survival over radiation observed in women with smaller sized tumors
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Radical hysterectomy may provide better survival outcomes compared with radiation in women with early-stage cervical cancer whose tumors are less than 6 cm in diameter, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Nisha Bansal, M.D., of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues compared survival in 4,885 women with early-stage cervical cancer (stage IB1 to IIA) who were treated with primary radiation or radical hysterectomy.

After adjusting for possible confounding factors, the researchers found that the mortality rate was lower in women who underwent radical hysterectomy (hazard ratio, 0.41). The lower mortality was observed only for women whose tumors were less than 6 cm in diameter, with a hazard ratio of 0.38 for tumors less than 4 cm in diameter, and a hazard ratio of 0.51 for tumors 4 to 6 cm in diameter. The authors further note that survival did not differ between the two treatments for tumors greater than 6 cm.

"Our data indicate that, in women with cervical cancer lesions of less than 6 cm, radical hysterectomy is superior to primary radiation," the authors conclude. "Future large prospective studies are needed to validate these findings, because the implications for treatment worldwide (where disease is prevalent and resources for radiation poor) are great."

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