Background: In epithelial ovarian cancer, conservative surgery has mainly been adopted for stage Ia disease. The aim of this study is to report on a conservative surgical approach used in selected young patients with ovarian cancer who would usually undergo radical operations. Study Design: From 1980 through 1994, 10 patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer and with high-grade or limited extraovarian disease were treated with conservative surgery. The mean age was 22.7 years. The stage was Ia grade 3 in 2 patients, Ic in 2 patients, IIIa in 2 patients, and IIIc in 4 patients. Eight patients were given adjuvant therapy (radiotherapy in 1 and chemotherapy in 7). Results: All patients were alive and disease-free at a median followup time of 70 months (range 24-138 months). Nine patients were menstruating regularly and three had become pregnant. Conclusions: It seems that in selected patients, conservative operations can be used beyond the worldwide accepted criterion of stage Ia. This concept deserves additional investigation in larger series.
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