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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Jun;26(3):337-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2011.12.005. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Epithelial ovarian cancer.

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Division of Gynaecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University Hospital, NUHS Tower Block, Singapore, Singapore.


The incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer in women aged 40 years and younger is 3-17%. The management of these women is challenging and requires balancing the need to treat epithelial ovarian cancer adequately and preserving reproductive potential. Fertility-sparing surgery, especially for early stage epithelial ovarian cancer, seems to be associated with equivalent clinical and cancer outcomes while preserving reproductive potential. A complete staging and cytoreductive procedure retaining the uterus, and at least one grossly normal ovary, is the minimum recommended procedure. Adjuvant chemotherapy with a platinum-taxane combination is recommended as clinically indicated, and is associated with better cancer and survival outcomes. Adjuvant treatment does not seem to increase the risk of congenital anomalies in subsequent pregnancies. Targeted therapy and ovarian cryopreservation are largely experimental and cannot be recommended as part of the clinical standard of care.

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