Endometrial cancer treatments

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

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:

  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Adriamycin
  • Taxotere

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. 


The advances in melanoma staging and treatment

Melanoma Staging

Once a diagnosis of melanoma has been made, the oncologist may order imaging studies to see if melanoma has spread to other areas of the body. Melanoma is staged from stage 0 to IV, with melanoma becoming more advanced the higher the stage. 

When the biopsy has resulted with melanoma, and staging studies have been completed, the oncologist can develop a treatment plan. 

Melanoma Treatment

Surgery is often used as a treatment for melanoma, with the type of surgery being a wide local excision (WLE). During this type of surgery, the entire melanoma lesion along with a wide amount of healthy tissue surrounding it is taken out, to be sure the entire melanoma has been removed. The full amount of tissue that needs to be removed depends upon the size and thickness of the melanoma lesion. 

Along with a WLE, a sentinel lymph node biopsy is often done. This surgery identifies the first lymph node closest to the melanoma using a special dye. This helps the surgeon identify it and remove the lymph node for evaluation of the presence of cancer cells. 

In addition to surgery, other treatments may be recommended based on the stage of the cancer. A commonly used treatment is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy medications are usually intravenous medications that work by helping the immune system see any melanoma cells in the body. This allows the immune system to help fight against melanoma. Examples of immunotherapy include:

  • Yervoy
  • Opdivo
  • Keytruda

Targeted treatment

Targeted treatment for BRAF mutations is available as well. Some people may benefit from the use of these after surgery, to help reduce the risk of melanoma returning. These medications work by interfering with the BRAF pathway melanoma cells use to grow. Examples of BRAF targeted therapy include a medication called dabrafenib. 

Early stage melanoma and Standard chemotherapy

Standard chemotherapy and radiation are rarely used for early stage melanoma. 


Why a second opinion after a cancer diagnosis matters

Cancer care is an ever-evolving field where new treatments are continuously developed. So, it is always worth getting a second opinion when a person is diagnosed with cancer. Furthermore, research evidence indicates that most early-stage cancer patients are satisfied with the opinion of their first oncologist.

So, what is a second opinion?

A second opinion provides a means to obtain additional input to reassure the patient about the recommended treatment options, feel assured that the initial oncologists correctly diagnosed the patient, and if the most effective treatment plan has been suggested. It can also give patients a chance to explore different treatment options to get more information about the risks and benefits of each option. Second opinions are especially relevant to cases of metastatic cancer.

Furthermore, in some cases, a second opinion may result in a completely different diagnosis, which can majorly impact treatment decisions. Seeking out a second opinion could make all the difference.

A few reasons why a Second Opinion is valuable

1. The Second opinion provides Peace of mind

After a cancer diagnosis, a second opinion can relieve some of the anxiety. When patients have doubts, they should get a second opinion to empower themselves with information and support that helps them make the right decisions and chooses the treatment that provides the best possible outcome.

2. The second opinion provides Different options

The possibility of receiving high-quality care wherever the patient seeks treatment might be there. However, the patient will learn different options they may have by getting a second opinion. Chemotherapy may be an option for patients who may only know about it after seeking a second opinion. Patients may also not realize they could also be a candidate for clinical trials and other therapies without a second opinion.

3. The involvement of a multidisciplinary approach opinion

The participation of a multidisciplinary team that discusses a patient’s treatment options ensures that the oncologist can use the collective knowledge of the entire team to provide a second opinion for each type of cancer.

4. The Support services that make a difference

Because cancer is complicated, having a team and services is vital to making a huge difference. Strong teams that can answer the patient’s questions following the second opinion are:

  • Oncology Nurse Practitioners
  • Oncology Pharmacists
  • Clinical trials recruitment specialists

Finally, cancer care can be expensive, and not everyone can afford to see multiple oncologists. By getting a second opinion, the patient can be sure of making the best possible decision about their health. Furthermore, if the patient cannot afford to see multiple doctors, getting a second opinion can help confirm that the first diagnosis was correct. 

Either way, Second opinions must become a normal part of cancer care.


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