Treatment options involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
A hysterectomy may be performed in women with the early stage 1 disease. Removal of the tubes and ovaries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) is also usually recommended.
Abdominal hysterectomy is recommended over vaginal hysterectomy. This type of hysterectomy allows the surgeon to look inside the abdominal area and remove tissue for a biopsy.
Surgery combined with radiation therapy is often used to treat women with stage 1 disease that has a high chance of returning, has spread to the lymph nodes, or is a grade 2 or 3. It is also used to treat women with stage 2 disease.
Chemotherapy may be considered in some cases, especially for those with stage 3 and 4 disease.
The stress of illness may be eased by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems. See cancer – support group.
Endometrial cancer is usually diagnosed at an early stage. The 1-year survival rate is about 92%.
The 5-year survival rate for endometrial cancer that has not spread is 95%. If the cancer has spread to distant organs, the 5-year survival rate drops to 23%.
Complications may include anemia due to blood loss. A perforation (hole) of the uterus may occur during a D and C or endometrial biopsy.
There can also be complications from hysterectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding or any other symptoms of endometrial cancer. This is particularly important if you have any associated risk factors or if you have not had routine pelvic exams.
Any of the following symptoms should be reported immediately to the doctor:
- Bleeding or spotting after intercourse or douching
- Bleeding lasting longer than 7 days
- Periods that occur every 21 days or more
- Bleeding or spotting after 6 months or more of no bleeding at all
Endometrial cancer : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Endometrial cancer : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Endometrial cancer : Treatment
Review Date : 2/21/2010
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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