A woman whose womb was partially preserved during an operation to treat advanced-stage cervical cancer gave birth last fall, the first such case in Japan, hospital officials said Saturday.
Cervical cancer patients are commonly treated with surgery to remove the womb if the disease has not been diagnosed until an advanced stage. Women who undergo such operations typically lose their ability to bear children.
The woman in her 30s, who lives in the Kanto area, was diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer in spring 2003.
Later that year, she underwent surgery at Keio University Hospital, and doctors preserved part of her womb, the officials said.
About a year later, she became pregnant though artificial insemination and gave birth to a boy in fall 2004. Both the woman and the child are healthy, even though the baby was born premature, the officials said.
“This is the first case in Japan of an advanced-stage cervical cancer patient becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child,” said Shiro Nozawa, a professor at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Keio University’s School of Medicine.
About 300 operations aimed at saving fertility have been performed for advanced-stage cervical cancer patients overseas since 1987. Children were born after at least 90 of these operations.
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