Objective: To determine the efficacy of conservative management of atypical hyperplasia and well-differentiated carcinoma of the endometrium in women under age 40.
Methods: Pathology records were searched to identify women under age 40 diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia or well-differentiated carcinoma of the endometrium between January 1990 and January 1996. All available biopsy, curettage, and hysterectomy specimens were reviewed. Follow-up was obtained from the patients' gynecologists.
Results: Sixty-seven records were identified. Atypical hyperplasia was found in 32 patients and well-differentiated carcinoma in 35 patients. Seven patients were excluded from analysis; four declined all treatment and follow-up, and three received no further treatment or tissue sampling from their physicians. Among 27 remaining patients with atypical hyperplasia, eight underwent hysterectomy, two were treated with ovulation induction, and 17 were treated with progestins, of whom 16 had regression of their lesions, and one had a persistent lesion. Among 33 women with well-differentiated carcinoma, 19 underwent hysterectomy, one was treated with bromocriptine, one was treated with oral contraceptives, and 12 were treated with progestins, of whom nine had regression of their lesions and three had persistent lesions. The median length of treatment required for a regression was 9 months. At a mean follow-up of 40 months, all patients were alive and well without evidence of progressive disease. Twenty-five women attempted to become pregnant, and five delivered healthy, full-term infants.
Conclusion: Treatment of atypical hyperplasia and well-differentiated carcinoma of the endometrium with progestins appears to be a safe alternative to hysterectomy in women under age 40.