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J Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Apr;23(2):120-4. doi: 10.3802/jgo.2012.23.2.120. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Fertility-sparing treatment of endometrial cancer: options, outcomes and pitfalls.

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  • 1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA.


Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States, with over 40,000 cases diagnosed each year. While a majority of cases are diagnosed in post-menopausal women, up to 14% of cases will be in pre-menopausal women, including 4% diagnosed in women less than 40 years of age. While hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with assessment of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes is standard initial treatment for endometrial cancer, younger women may desire fertility sparing options. The decision to proceed with conservative management in this younger patient population is associated with multiple complexities, including the inherent oncologic risks of an inadequately staged and treated endometrial cancer, the risk of a synchronous or meta-synchronous cancer, the increased risk of an inherited genetic predisposition to malignancy and the lack of uniformity in the medical management and surveillance. In this review we will discuss the conservative management of endometrial cancer, specifically the role of progestin hormonal therapy, including the risks associated with non-standard care, appropriate candidate selection and work up, expected outcomes, various progestin agents and recommended follow-up.


Endometrial neoplasms; Fertility preservation; Progestins

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