Uterine Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Uterine cancer facts
- What is the uterus?
- What is uterine cancer (endometrial cancer)?
- What causes uterine cancer? Who is at risk for uterine cancer?
- What are uterine cancer symptoms and signs?
- How is a diagnosis of uterine cancer determined?
- How is the stage determined for uterine cancer?
- What are treatment options for uterine cancer?
- What about surgery for the treatment of endometrial cancer?
- What about radiation therapy for the treatment of uterine cancer?
- What about chemotherapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer?
- What about hormone therapy for the treatment of uterine cancer?
- How does a person go about getting a second opinion after a uterine cancer diagnosis?
- What sort of follow-up treatment is needed during and after uterine cancer treatment?
- What support is available for patients with uterine cancer?
- What research is being done on uterine cancer?
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
What support is available for patients with uterine cancer?
Learning that you have uterine cancer can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to need help coping with the feelings that a diagnosis of cancer can bring.
Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.
Here's where you can go for support:
- Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities.
- Social workers, counselors, or members of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, social workers can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
- Support groups also can help. In these groups, patients or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with cancer and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
- NCI's Cancer Information Service can help you locate programs and services for people with cancer. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Or chat using LiveHelp, NCI's instant messaging service, at http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp.
- Your doctor or a sex counselor may be helpful if you and your partner are concerned about the effects of uterine cancer on your sex life. Ask your doctor about possible treatment of side effects and whether these effects are likely to last. Whatever the outlook, you and your partner may find it helps to discuss your concerns.
What research is being done on uterine cancer?
Doctors all over the world are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new treatments are safe and effective.
Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly from a treatment, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about uterine cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
Doctors are studying new ways to use surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy for treatment of uterine cancer.
NCI is sponsoring many studies with women who have uterine cancer:
- Surgery: Doctors are studying whether lymphedema develops after a woman has one of three types of surgery to remove the uterus and nearby lymph nodes:
- The surgeon makes a large incision to remove the uterus and lymph nodes.
- The surgeon makes small incisions for a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a lens for viewing. The surgeon uses a tool on the laparoscope to remove the uterus and lymph nodes (laparoscopic surgery).
- The surgeon removes the uterus through the vagina and makes small incisions so that a laparoscope may be used to remove the lymph nodes.
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy:
- For women who have had surgery, doctors are comparing the effectiveness of external beam radiation therapy with that of brachytherapy followed by chemotherapy.
- Doctors are comparing chemotherapy alone with the combination of chemotherapy, external beam radiation therapy, and brachytherapy.
If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor.
NCI's Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of uterine cancer.
Also, NCI's Cancer Information Service can provide information about clinical trials. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Or chat using LiveHelp, NCI's instant messaging service, at http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp.
Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology
National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. Last update: 10/25/2010
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