Treatment for uterine cancer is decided by taking each patient’s personal circumstances into consideration. A team of specialists will work together to recommend a treatment plan that is best suited to you, taking a variety of factors into consideration, including how large and advanced the cancer is and whether fertility is an issue for you.
While uterine cancer treatment is tailored to each individual, surgery is the main treatment that is used. Uterine cancer treatment options include:
Uterine cancer surgery is usually recommended but the extent of the surgery can vary, often depending on the stage, the cancer is at when diagnosed. At stage 1 it’s likely that you’ll have a hysterectomy, where the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. If this cancer has spread, it may also be necessary to remove lymph nodes in the pelvis and cervix too. For advanced cancer, it may be impossible to treat the disease using surgery and in this case, as much as cancer as possible is often removed to relieve symptoms.
Radiotherapy is used to both slow the spread of the cancer if it’s incurable or as a way to cut the risk of cancer returning. It can be delivered both internally and externally and the course of radiotherapy will vary depending on the stage the cancer is.
Treatment of womb cancer that is at stage 3 or 4 may also involve chemotherapy. It’s usually administered through an injection and used to prevent cancer returning or to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease if a cure isn’t possible.
The female hormone oestrogen has been linked to cancer of the uterus and in some cases of womb cancer hormone therapy can be used as treatment, although this isn’t always possible. It’s most often used with advanced stage womb cancer or when cancer returns.