Risk of recurrence, prognosis, and follow-up for Danish women with cervical cancer in 2005-2013: A national cohort study

Gry Assam Taarnhøj, Ib Jarle Christensen, Henrik Lajer, Katrine Fuglsang, Mette Moustgaard Jeppesen, Henriette Strøm Kahr, Claus Høgdall

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: In developed countries, women attend follow-up after treatment for cervical cancer to detect recurrence. The aim of this study was to describe the Danish population of women with early-stage cervical cancer at risk for recurrence and death due to recurrence.

METHODS: Data were extracted from 3 nationwide databases to find women diagnosed with stage 1A1 to 1B1 cervical cancer in 2005-2013. Recurrences were determined from data on oncological or surgical treatment more than 3 months after the initial diagnosis and were cross-checked with patient journals.

RESULTS: In all, 1523 patients were diagnosed with stage 1A1 to 1B1 cervical cancer. Eighty women experienced recurrences: 8 at International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage 1A1, 0 at FIGO stage 1A2, and 72 at FIGO stage 1B1. The 5-year recurrence rate was 6.4%; 67.5% of the women had symptomatic recurrences, and 28.8% had asymptomatic recurrences. At significantly greater risk for recurrence were women at stage 1B1, regardless of their lymph node (LN) status at diagnosis (hazard ratio with a positive LN, 5.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.65-15.76; P = .0047; hazard ratio with a negative LN, 3.14; 95% CI, 1.25-7.93; P = .0153; hazard ratio with LN data missing, 6.33; 95% CI, 1.80-22.26; P = .004), women older than 50 years (hazard ratio, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.12-2.94; P = .0158), and women with lymphatic and lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI; hazard ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.11-3.30; P = .0188). In a multivariate analysis, significantly inferior survival was found after recurrence for patients with lymphatic LVSI (hazard ratio, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.04-4.80; P = .0401), a symptomatic diagnosis of recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.08-5.90; P = .0332), and multiple sites of recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.32-5.61; P = .0066).

CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified a group of women at FIGO stage 1A1 in no need of specialized, hospital-based follow-up. Many of the recurrences at FIGO stage 1B1 are asymptomatic, and this may show a need for follow-up in this group. Further prospective investigation is needed. Cancer 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)943-951
Publication statusPublished - 1. Mar 2018


  • cervical cancer
  • early stage
  • follow-up
  • mortality
  • risk of recurrence


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