Endometrial cancer treatment
The exact treatment prescribed for you will be based on the stage and characteristics of your endometrial cancer. It’s important to talk to your oncology team if you have any specific questions about your particular treatment.
Treatment is often classified into local therapy or systemic therapy. Local therapy means that it only treats the uterus, and not any other parts of the body. Systemic therapy is treatment that goes around your entire body, treating cancer cells that may be present outside of the uterus. A combination of local and systemic therapy may be given for endometrial cancer.
During surgery for endometrial cancer, the uterus is removed. This is called a hysterectomy. Often the fallopian tubes and ovaries will be removed as well. Lymph nodes near the uterus may also be removed to evaluate for the presence of cancer cells.
Radiation therapy uses high energy beams of radiation to kill cancer cells. It is often used after surgery, to treat the area where the cancer was to make sure any cancer cells left behind don’t have the chance to grow. This is most often done with external beam radiation.
However, brachytherapy, where seeds of radiation are placed directly into an area to be treated, may be done, especially in the upper part of the vagina, which is closest to the uterus.
Chemotherapy is medication that is used to stop the division of cells, causing cell death. Because cancer cells are abnormal and usually grow out of control, they are killed by chemotherapy. Unfortunately, chemotherapy can cause side effects because healthy cells are affected as well.
Chemotherapy is typically used for endometrial cancer when it’s at a later stage. A combination of chemotherapy medications may be used to treat endometrial cancer. Some examples include:
Other Treatment Options
When endometrial cancer becomes metastatic and has gone into distant areas of the body, other treatments such as hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy may be used to treat it.