Treating uterine cancer
The main treatment for uterine cancer is surgery (hysterectomy), whereby the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed. For some patients this may be the only treatment necessary, while others may have radiotherapy or other drugs instead.
If the cancer has spread but is still in the area of the pelvis, it is common for an operation to be performed to eliminate most of the cancer and to facilitate any treatments that may be given afterward.
After surgery, you may be advised to have other treatments done to reduce the risk of the cancer returning; this is known as adjuvant treatment. The cancer's stage and grade help your specialist decide whether additional treatment is necessary; the most common is radiotherapy in the area of the pelvis. Sometimes, chemotherapy is given alongside radiotherapy to prevent the cancer from coming back, while in others chemotherapy is given by itself.
Chemotherapy is used, though occasionally hormone therapy is given to treat advanced cancer, which means it has spread to other parts of the body such as the liver or lungs. This is known as palliative treatment.
Chemotherapy can help reduce and control cancer or relieve the symptoms of the disease.
Hormone therapy can be given in select cases.
HOW IS THE TREATMENT PLANNED?
Your treatment will be planned by a group of specialists who will meet to discuss and agree upon the best possible treatment plan for you.
This multidisciplinary team will include:
- A surgeon (who specializes in your type of cancer)
- A medical oncologist
- A radiotherapy oncologist
- Radiologists who help analyze x-rays and scans.
- Pathologists who advise on the type and extent of the cancer.
Other health professionals may be included, such as a palliative care doctor (who is specialized in controlling symptoms), a nutritionist, a physical therapist, and occupational therapists, and a psychologist.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF THE TREATMENT
You may feel afraid of cancer treatment due to the side effects it can have. Although treatments for cervical cancer can produce adverse effects, you will be given help to control them.
The treatment can be given for various reasons and the possible benefits vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Your doctor can tell you whether the primary aim of the treatment is to cure the cancer, control it for some time, or reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life. They can also tell you about the possible side effects of the treatment and whether these are temporary or permanent.