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Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer (cont.)

Medications

Medicines, such as chemotherapy or progestin hormone therapy, may be given after surgery for endometrial cancer. Your treatment depends on the stage and grade of the cancer and the risk for the cancer to spread or come back.

Medicine choices

Progestin hormone therapy may be used if your cancer has come back or spread or you are unable to have surgery or radiation therapy. Or it may be done if you are a young woman with early-stage cancer and you want the option of becoming pregnant in the future.

Chemotherapy is used alone or in combination. Examples include:

Medicines to help with side effects

Click here to view an Actionset.Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy. These side effects usually are temporary and go away when treatment is stopped. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to help relieve nausea.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) is the most common treatment for endometrial cancer. Surgery has the highest cure rate of all treatments for endometrial cancer.

Along with the uterus (and cervix), the surgeon also removes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and often the pelvic lymph nodesClick here to see an illustration.. Everything is then examined to find out the extent of the cancer and to help plan your treatment. If there are signs that more aggressive cancer still may be in the lymph system, more lymph nodes may be removed.

Surgery choices

What to think about

Most women have their ovaries removed after a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. This is to make sure the cancer has not spread to the ovaries, to reduce the production of estrogen, and to slow cancer growth.

If you're still in your childbearing years, a hysterectomy means that pregnancy will no longer be possible and that your menstrual periods will end. The hormonal changes of menopause will begin as soon as your ovaries are removed. For more information, see the topic Menopause and Perimenopause.

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