In the UK, more than 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year. Early stage cervical cancer (IA2-IB1) treatment comprises central surgery mainly in the form of radical hysterectomy or fertility sparing surgery including trachelectomy as well as systematic pelvic lymphadenectomy to detect metastases and adjust treatment accordingly. Given the variation in determining the lymph node (LN) status, a major prognosticator, we reviewed the current UK practice of LN assessment in women undergoing surgery for early cervical cancer. A 7-question, web-based survey, screened by the BGCS committee, was circulated amongst BGCS members. The overall response rate was 51%. Only 12.5% of the respondents routinely performed frozen section examination (FSE); the main reasons for not doing FSE were the pressure on theatre time (54.5%) and the lack of available facilities (48.5%). When positive pelvic nodal disease was detected, in 21 out of 50 (42%) the planned radical hysterectomy (RH) was aborted. More than 70% of the respondents routinely performed RH without any prior resort to pelvic lymphadenectomy. Pretreatment surgical para-aortic LN assessment was performed by 20% of the respondents. The survey confirms the diversity of the UK practice patterns in the surgical treatment of early cervical cancer.
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