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What are treatment options for uterine cancer?
Treatment options for people with uterine cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. You may receive more than one type of treatment.
The treatment that's right for you depends mainly on the following:
Whether the tumor has invaded the muscle layer of the uterus
Whether the tumor has invaded tissues outside the uterus
Whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body
The grade of the tumor
Your age and general health
You may have a team of specialists to help plan your treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat uterine cancer include gynecologists, gynecologic oncologists (doctors who specialize in treating female cancers), medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. Your health care team may also include an oncology nurse and a registered dietitian.
Your health care team can describe your treatment choices, the expected results of each, and the possible side effects. Because cancer therapy often damages healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. You and your health care team can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.
At any stage of disease, supportive care is available to control pain and other symptoms, to relieve the side effects of treatment, and to ease emotional concerns. Information about such care is available on NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping.
Also, NCI's Cancer Information Service can answer your questions about supportive care. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Or chat using LiveHelp, NCI's instant messaging service, at http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp.
You may want to talk with your doctor about taking part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies testing new treatments. They are an important option for people with all stages of uterine cancer. See the Taking Part in Cancer Research section.
You may want to ask your doctor these questions before you begin treatment:
What is the grade of the tumor? What is the stage of the disease? Has the tumor invaded the muscle layer of the uterus or spread to other organs?
What are my treatment choices? Which do you suggest for me? Why?
What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
What can I do to prepare for treatment?
Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can side effects be managed?
What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover it?
How will treatment affect my normal activities?
Would a research study (clinical trial) be a good choice for me?
Can you recommend other doctors who could give me a second opinion about my treatment options?