Baillière's Best Practice & Research. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology vol:19 issue:4 pages:611-30
Pregnancy represents an exceptional opportunity for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer since visual inspection, cytological examination and bimanual palpation are considered to be part of routine antenatal care. An abnormal cervical smear should generally be managed as in the non-pregnant state. However, colposcopy and biopsies are mainly intended to exclude invasive disease because a conservative approach is preferred in cases of pre-invasive disease. The only absolute indication for conization in pregnancy is to rule out (micro-)invasive disease or make the diagnosis of invasive carcinoma when such a diagnosis will alter the timing or mode of delivery. Overall, earlier stages of cervical cancer are encountered during pregnancy compared with the general population. Although stage of disease and gestational age will largely influence the timing of the interventions, treatment of invasive cervical cancer is similar to the non-pregnant state. In strongly desired pregnancies, the use of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in order to obtain fetal maturity should be considered and discussed with the patient. Although good evidence supports short-term safety, long-term data regarding the in-utero exposure of cytotoxic drugs need to be consolidated. After stratifying for stage, the outcome is similar to the non-pregnant state.