Two hundred patients with stage IB carcinoma of the cervix were treated with radical hysterectomy. We evaluated the impact of recurrence interval on survival and determined its relationship to other prognostic factors. Thirty-one patients (15.5%) had recurrence, with a median follow-up of 2.8 years (range, 1 to 5 years). Multivariate analysis, using the Cox proportional hazard regression model, showed the impact of recurrence interval on survival and its relationship to other prognostic factors. Patients were 19 times more likely to die during follow-up if recurrence occurred shortly after the operation. However, the risk of death from recurrence decreased exponentially as recurrence interval increased, by a multiple of 0.93 m where m is recurrence interval in months. We conclude that in patients with stage IB carcinoma of the cervix treated initially with radical hysterectomy, the shorter the recurrence period after operation, the greater the likelihood the patient would die during 5-year follow-up. This information may help clinicians determine a patient's prognosis after confirmed recurrence.