Background: Diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) in young women has major implications including those to their reproductive potential. We evaluated depression, anxiety and body image in patients with stage I EOC treated with fertility sparing surgery (FSS) or radical surgery (RS). We also investigated fertility outcomes after FSS.
Methods: A retrospective study was undertaken in which 62 patients completed questionnaires related to anxiety, depression, body image and fertility outcomes. Additional information on adjuvant therapy after FSS and RS and demographic details were abstracted from medical records. Both bi‐ and multivariate regression models were used to assess the relationship between demographic, clinical and pathological results and scores for anxiety, depression and body image.
Results: Thirty‐nine patients underwent RS and the rest, FSS. The percentage of patients reporting elevated anxiety and depression (subscores ≥ 11) were 27% and 5% respectively. The median (interquartile range) score for Body Image Scale (BIS) was 6 (3–15). None of the demographic or clinical factors examined showed significant association with anxiety and BIS with the exception of ‘time since diagnosis’. For depression, post‐menopausal status was the only independent predictor. Among those 23 patients treated by FSS, 14 patients tried to conceive (seven successful), resulting in seven live births, one termination of pregnancy and one miscarriage.
Conclusion: This study shows that psychological issues are common in women treated for stage I EOC. Reproduction after FSS is feasible and led to the birth of healthy babies in about half of patients who wished to have another child. Further prospective studies with standardised instruments are required.