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Treatments for Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer

While standard protocols have been established for the treatment of virtually all cancers, physicians will often modify them for their individual patients. These modifications are based on many factors including the patient’s age, general health, desired results, and the specific characteristics of his or her cancer. Since the treatments described in this report represent the standard therapeutic approaches, your doctor may not strictly adhere to them.
The goal of treatment is to kill the cancer cells and avoid serious complications related to either the cancer or its treatment. The doctor will recommend a treatment plan for your specific needs. In general, treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer, your age, and your overall health.
Surgery to remove the uterus— hysterectomy —is the main treatment for uterine cancer. The surgery usually involves removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and sometimes the lymph nodes.
The doctor may recommend radiation to kill any microscopic cells remaining after surgery. Radiation also may be the suggested treatment plan for patients who cannot physically tolerate surgery or refuse the procedure. Chemotherapy or hormone therapy also may be ordered for late-stage uterine cancer.
SurgeryRadiation therapyChemotherapyOther: hormonal therapyLifestyle changesManaging the side effects of cancer and cancer therapy
Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the government website ClinicalTrials.gov .

References

American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ .

Bast R, Kufe D, Pollock R, et al, eds. Cancer Medicine. 5th ed. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker Inc; 2000.

National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/ .

Rakel R. Bope E, ed. Conn's Current Therapy. 54th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2002: 1094-1096.

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