Table of Contents
What are the treatment options for endometrial cancer?
Treatment option depends on the uterine cancer stage, your age, and general health.
- Hysterectomy – surgical removal of the uterus
- Salpingo-oophorectomy – surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries
- Pelvic lymph node dissection – surgical removal of some of the lymph nodes from the pelvis
- Para-aortic lymphadenectomy – surgical removal of the lymph nodes that surround the aorta, the main artery of the heart
- Laparoscopic lymph node sampling – surgical removal of lymph nodes through a narrow viewing tube called a laparoscope, which is inserted through a small incision (cut) in the abdomen (belly). The surgeon will also remove the nearby lymph nodes for testing to check if cancer has spread to these areas or not. This is known as lymph node dissection or lymphadenectomy and this will help to determine the stage of your cancer.
- Sentinel lymph node mapping is the use of fluorescent imaging to identify cancerous lymph nodes that could otherwise go undetected.
If cancer has spread to other areas of the body, the surgeon will recommend additional surgeries. After the surgeon removes all cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given radiation therapy or hormone treatment after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left.
How is endometrial cancer surgery performed?
The surgery is performed through the abdomen.
- Step 1 – A cut is usually made from the pubic area to the bellybutton, but it could also be made along the pubic line.
- Step 2 – Once the abdomen is open, the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are then removed.
- Step 3 – If the cancer has spread to the cervix, the surgeon will also remove a small portion near the cervix.
You can expect light vaginal bleeding after the surgery, which should stop within two weeks. After surgery, some women may experience Menopause and Internal scar tissue.
What is the recovery period for endometrial cancer surgery?
Your recovery will depend on your age, general health and the type of surgery that you had. Most women feel better within 1–2 weeks and should be able to return to normal activities after 4–8 weeks. You will need to avoid heavy lifting (more than 3–4 kilograms) for about a month. You may have constipation after the surgery and will need to take laxatives to avoid straining when passing a bowel motion.
The cost of surgery for treatment of endometrial cancer is $4000 in India.
Radiation therapy will use high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Your physician may recommend one or both types of radiation therapy after surgery. This helps to kill the remaining cancer cells. In some cases, radiation therapy is recommended before surgery, which can help to shrink tumors to make them easier to remove. But if you cannot have surgery due to poor health, then your doctor may recommend radiation therapy as the main treatment. There are two main types of radiation therapy that are used to treat endometrial cancer:
- External beam radiation therapy: An external machine focuses beams of radiation on the uterus from outside the body.
- Internal radiation therapy: Radioactive materials are placed inside the body, in the vagina or uterus and this is also known as brachytherapy.
Radiotherapy can make you feel tired and you may lose your appetite. This is because radiotherapy could damage healthy cells as well as cancer cells.
The cost of radiation therapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer ranges from $2800 – $3400 in India.
Chemotherapy is recommended after surgery if there is an increased risk that cancer may return. Chemotherapy may be recommended for treating advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer that has spread to the other parts of the body. The side effects of chemotherapy may include feeling sick (nausea), vomiting, feeling tired, and some thinning and loss of body and head hair.
The cost of chemotherapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer ranges from $480 – $680 in India.
Hormone therapy involves the use of hormone-blocking drugs to lower hormone levels in the body. In response, cancer cells that rely on hormones for their growth will die.
Hormone therapy is recommend for stage III or stage IV endometrial cancer which has spread to the other parts of the body. Hormone therapy is often combined with chemotherapy.
Hormone Therapy cost for endometrial cancer treatment in India ranges from $700 – $800 per day.
Immunotherapy helps your immune system to fight cancer. Your immune system might not attack cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that blind the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process. For endometrial cancer, immunotherapy might be considered if the cancer is advanced and other treatments have not helped.
Immunotherapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer will cost $1300 – $2300 in India.
Targeted drug therapy:
Targeted drug treatments focus on the specific weaknesses present within the cancer cells. By blocking these weaknesses, targeted drug treatments will cause cancer cells to die. Targeted drug therapy is combined with chemotherapy for treating advanced endometrial cancer. The cost of targeted therapy may vary and increase as it will be used with a combination of chemotherapy drugs.
Supportive (palliative) care:
Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and the aim is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. When palliative care is used with the other appropriate treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, then cancer patients may feel better and live longer.
What is the survival rate of women with uterine cancer?
The survival rate for women with uterine cancer is 81%.
How can you prepare yourself for the treatment of Lung cancer?
- The first and foremost thing that you need to do is keep yourself well informed about your cancer, this improves your quality of life as this can make the disease seem less mysterious and frightening. Information from your doctor and other credible sources can be very helpful in this respect.
- When a person is diagnosed with cancer it has an adverse effect on their emotional state, so you need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. This can be done by being transparent with your family and friends about how you feel, the problems you have been facing so they can help you in a better way. And as a peer or a family member of the patient, you must support them at all times by listening to them patiently as they are emotionally compromised.
- You can avail services of a counsellor or attend group therapies consisting of people sharing their past experiences of cancer.
- Writing down about your queries, problems, new symptoms, any physical changes, medications, past medical reports and other important things will help you to clearly express yourself to the doctor.
The checklist given below will help you in planning your treatment in India: