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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence of cancer arising in pregnancy and to report its recurrence in those women with a past history of the disease. DESIGN: Retrospective study over 11 years. SETTING: John Radcliffe Maternity Hospital. PATIENTS: 25,568 Oxford District Health Authority residents who delivered at the John Radcliffe Maternity Hospital, and 6775 residents who had a termination of pregnancy, between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1985. INTERVENTIONS: Retrospective analysis of case records to identify pregnancies complicated by cancer and follow-up through patients' general practitioners. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal mortality and disease recurrence. RESULTS: The study identified 32 pregnancies complicated by cancer in 28 women and four terminations of pregnancy performed for cancer as the main or secondary indication. By the end of 1991, three women had died, one woman had been treated for disease recurrence, 17 women were in good health and seven women had been lost to follow-up. There were six cases of cancer arising de novo in pregnancy, i.e. an incidence of 2.35 per 10,000 deliveries (95% confidence interval 0.47 to 4.22). Only one pregnancy was complicated by disease recurrence. CONCLUSION: The incidence of cancer arising de novo in pregnancy is lower than the most quoted figure of 9.92 per 10,000 pregnancies.


Journal article


Eur J Surg Oncol

Publication Date





405 - 407


Female, Humans, Incidence, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic, Recurrence, Retrospective Studies