Uterine Cancer Treatment

Surgery is the most common endometrial cancer treatment for early stage tumors confined within the uterus. Adjuvant radiation therapy following surgery is also routine, particularly when the cancer is deeply embedded in the lining of the uterus.

Success rates for surgical uterine cancer treatment are as high as ninety percent for Stage I endometrial cancers. Surgical treatment involves radical hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries), as well as removal of lymph node tissue surrounding the uterus and upper third of the vagina.

Research conducted by the National Cancer Institute, suggests that Stage I endometrial cancers may not require radical hysterectomy. A simple bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, involving the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, but not the surrounding tissues or upper third of the vagina, may be sufficient treatment for early uterine cancer.

Laparoscopy: A Less Invasive Approach to Uterine Cancer Treatment?

Clinical trials comparing the benefits of laparoscopic surgery with traditional surgical treatment of uterine cancer are taking place. Laparoscopy is also being used increasingly for taking biopsy samples of lymph node tissue surrounding the uterus.

Radiation Therapy for Endometrial Cancer

Radiation therapy is used as post-operative adjuvant therapy to prevent the spread and recurrence of endometrial cancer. Radiation therapy may also be used as palliative therapy to reduce symptoms.

Two types of radiation therapy are commonly used for treatment of the different stages of uterine cancer. External-beam radiation therapy, used routinely as adjuvant radiation therapy, and intracavitary radiation therapy, may be used to prevent “vaginal cuff ” recurrences (endometrial cancer recurrence in the upper third of the vagina).

Recurrence of endometrial cancer is more likely in patients with advanced stages of the disease. Typically, recurrence occurs within three years of the original uterine cancer diagnosis.

Chemotherapy Treatment For Endometrial Cancer

Research, to date, shows conflicting evidence regarding the effectiveness of chemotherapy as a uterine cancer treatment. In general, chemotherapy is used for treatment of uterine cancer that has spread to other organs. Current thinking also recommends adjuvant chemotherapy treatment for endometrial cancers that are confined to the uterus.

Doxorubicin

Clinical trials are currently under way to establish the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs doxorubicin and cisplatin, administered in combination with paclitaxel, for treatment of advanced uterine cancer. Patients receiving a uterine cancer treatment chemotherapy cocktail of doxorubicin, cisplatin and paclitaxel are being compared with a control group, receiving treatment with doxorubicin and cisplatin alone.

Progestin Hormone Therapy for Treatment of Advanced Endometrial Cancer

Progestin hormone therapy involves the use of hormones, particularly progesterone, to treat low-grade tumors that possess high levels of progestin receptors. Although progestin therapy is generally well tolerated and has low-toxicity, progestin hormone therapy may have side effects, including weight gain and, occasionally, depression.

What is progesterone therapy?

Progestins are hormones that may help to prevent the growth and recurrence of endometrial cancer. Progesterone, a well-known progestin, is a female hormone that balances out the effects of estrogen.