Endometrial Cancer Treatment
How Is Endometrial Cancer Treated?
The treatment for endometrial cancer often consists of a combination of the following treatments, which are often based on multiple factors, including a patient’s age and general health.
Most patients with endometrial cancer will have surgery as the initial step of treatment. Many patients will not require any additional treatment after surgery, though some will be recommended chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Usually, this involves removing the uterus and cervix (a procedure called a hysterectomy). Most patients will also have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in a procedure called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO). In many cases, lymph nodes will be removed to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the uterus. If it has, the surgeon may attempt to remove it in a process known as debulking. If endometrial cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the surgeon has a greater chance of removing all of the cancer. If patients are diagnosed at a later stage, they may require more than one surgical procedure.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs are either taken orally or injected through a vein directly into the bloodstream. Several chemotherapy drugs can be used to treat endometrial cancer. A medical oncologist will discuss these options with the patient to determine the best treatment plan. Some patients may experience side effects while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, fatigue, hair loss, and rashes on the hands and feet. In recent years, chemotherapy treatment has improved significantly and become much more manageable.