Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer - Treatment Overview
Having cancer treatments such as radiation therapy or a hysterectomy may affect your ability to have or enjoy sexual intercourse. If you do have sexual problems, talk with your doctor.
If you are perimenopausal or
have not yet reached
menopause, your menstrual period will end immediately
after most treatments for endometrial cancer. If your uterus and ovaries have
been removed or have had radiation therapy, your body will have a decrease in
estrogen. Estrogen normally prevents:
Some women with endometrial cancer may be interested in taking part in
research studies called
clinical trials. Clinical trials are designed to find
better ways to treat cancer patients and are based on the most up-to-date
information. Women who do not want standard treatments or are not cured using
standard treatments may want to be in clinical trials. These are
ongoing in most parts of the United States and in some other countries for all
stages of endometrial cancer.
After your initial treatment for
endometrial cancer, it is important to receive
follow-up care. Your doctor will set up a regular schedule of checkups that will happen less often as time goes on.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
Endometrial cancer may come back (recur). But this is not likely when the first
cancer is caught early and is low-risk. Of those cancers that do come back,
nearly all do so within 3 years of the first diagnosis. This is why regular
follow-up is extremely important after initial treatment.1
Cancer that comes back only in the pelvic area
sometimes is treated with
radiation therapy. This may stop the progress of
cancer and may even cure it if it is only in the vagina. If cancer has spread
to other parts of the body, radiation therapy often provides relief (palliation) from symptoms. Chemotherapy may also be
Progestin hormone therapy often is used to slow the
growth of cancer that has recurred or spread. These hormone treatments can help 15 to 30 out of 100 women who have endometrial cancer that has spread to other organs (metastasized).2
clinical trials to test new treatments may be
appropriate if cancer has spread to other parts of the body and hormonal
therapy is ineffective in stopping the growth.
Cancer treatment has two main goals: curing cancer and
making your quality of life as good as possible. Palliative care can improve your quality of life by helping you to manage your symptoms. It can also help you with other concerns that you may have when you are living with a serious illness.