Do I Need To Have My Ovaries Removed? My Cervix?

As noted in Have My Surgery Done Vaginally, removal of the cervix and ovaries is required for complete surgical treatment of endometrial cancer. In young women, the ovaries may be spared, but the risk that cancer may be present there must be discussed in great detail.

For women who may have their ovaries removed, fertility preservation strategies should be discussed beforehand, including the options of freezing eggs or embryos or even ovarian tissue preservation. For women with endometrial cancer, the cervix must be removed. It is part of the staging system of endometrial cancer and speaks to the high risk that it may be involved. It would be inappropriate to perform a hysterectomy but leave the cervix in place.

Endometrial cancer is not usually a disease of young women but sometimes women under 40 may develop endometrial cancer. These women might want to keep their ovaries for the purpose of keeping their hormones until menopause. We know that women who are under 40 who develop endometrial cancer are also at risk for developing an ovarian cancer later on (also called synchronous primary).

If they elect to keep their ovaries, these women must be very carefully counseled about their risk of developing ovarian cancer and should consider having their ovaries removed when they reach menopause.