• Vol. 27 No. 5, 613–617
  • 15 September 1998

Outcome of Early Cervical Carcinoma Treated by Wertheim Hysterectomy with Selective Postoperative Radiotherapy



Seventy-five consecutive patients with histologically confirmed FIGO stage IB-IIA cervical carcinoma who underwent Wertheim hysterectomy were studied retrospectively. Poor prognostic factors were found in 42 (56%) patients in whom postoperative adjuvant pelvic irradiation was given. The overall disease-free survival rate was 78% at 5 years and 75% at 9 years. The tumour recurrence rate was 12.1% in the low-risk patients and 35.7% in the high-risk patients. Tumour recurrences occurred significantly more frequently in patients with tumours with high grade squamous cell carcinomas and adenosquamous carcinoma. No recurrences occurred in patients with adenocarcinomas. After adjuvant radiotherapy, there was no statistically significant difference in the recurrence rates between lymph node positive and negative patients (26.7% and 19.6% respectively), however extrapelvic recurrences were more common in those with diseased lymph nodes. The recurrence rate was 40% in patients with involved resection margins compared to 16.7% of patients with clear margins. The recurrence rates were similar for patients with and without tumour embolisation of vascular/lymphatic channels.

Wertheim hysterectomy with postoperative pelvic irradiation for selected high-risk patients was an effective treatment for FIGO stage IBIIA cervical carcinoma. Despite radiotherapy, the high-risk patients still experienced a high tumour recurrence rate.

Cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer in females in Singapore after breast, colorectal and lung cancers. It forms 7.8% of all cancers in females for the period 1988 to 1992.

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