Maternal and fetal outcome after invasive cervical cancer in pregnancy

Donna Zemlickis, Michael Lishner, Pamela Degendorfer, Tony Panzarella, Simon B. Sutcliffe, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Invasive carcinoma of the cervix is the most common gynecologic malignancy to occur during the reproductive years. To analyze the effects of pregnancy on the course and survival of invasive cervical cancer, we compared 40 women with invasive cervical cancer to 89 nonpregnanf controls matched for age, calendric year of diagnosis, stage, and tumor type. Additionally, we compared the distribution of invasive cervical cancer stages among the 40 pregnant women with that among the 1,963 cases of invasive cervical cancer treated during the same 30 years in women less than 45 years of age registered in the same hospital. To evaluate pregnancy outcome, we compared babies born to women with invasive cervical cancer to babies born of women matched for maternal age and not exposed to known teratogens or reproductive risks during pregnancy. Thirty-year survival of pregnant women with invasive cervical cancer was identical to that of their matched controls. Women having invasive cervical cancer were 3.1 times more likely to be diagnosed with stage I disease (95% confidence interval, 1.6 to 6.2). Additionally, they had a significantly lower chance of being diagnosed with stages III and IV (P = .02). Babies born to women with invasive cervical cancer were similar in gestational age and rates of prematurity but had a lower birth weight than the matched controls. There were two stillbirths among the 24 pregnancies that continued to term (8%), not statistically different from the 1.1% rate for Ontario. Our data suggest that pregnancy per se does not adversely affect the survival of women with invasive cervical cancer. However, this study provides evidence that pregnant women are more likely to present with early disease because of regular, pregnancy-related obstetric exams. Moreover, there is an increased risk for stillbirth which should lead to follow-up of these patients by a high-risk perinatal unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1956-1961
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


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