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Uterine Cancer

It’s cancer. Now what?

We’ll create a Care Plan as unique as you are. 

No cancer — especially your cancer — should ever be taken lightly. It is to be treated with proven methods and cutting-edge breakthroughs. The type of treatment you get from OhioHealth.

Your diagnosis is just the first step in a focused, deliberate, meaningful Cancer Care Plan that marries the clinical with the compassionate. Providing you the precise care, and caring, you need to be ever hopeful as you navigate this new and unfamiliar landscape.

Questions will certainly arise. And that’s OK. As you progress through your Care Plan and beyond, we’ll be with you to answer all of them — about treatment, clinical trials, educational classes and programs or any of our many other resources.

Uterine Cancer Basics Treatments and Procedures

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is uterine cancer and what causes it?

    A: Uterine cancer occurs with abnormal cell development in the endometrium and myometrium, which is the tissue that forms the wall of a woman’s uterus. When cancer develops in the endometrium, the inner layer or lining of the uterus, it’s referred to as endometrial cancer. 

    When cancer develops in the myometrium, the muscle tissue or outer layer, it’s referred to as uterine sarcoma.

    Causes of uterine cancer are generally unknown; however, the balance of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body is considered to play a part in most endometrial cancers.
  • Q: Is uterine cancer treatable?

    A: Yes. Different options for uterine cancer treatment include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. How your uterine cancer is treated will depend on the type and stage of your cancer. Additional factors determining the kind of treatment include your age and health. 

    Talk to your doctor about the stage of your uterine cancer and how it will likely respond to treatment options.
  • Q: Does OhioHealth offer treatment for uterine cancer?

    A: Yes. We provide treatment for uterine cancer patients with the best care available in the battle of this serious disease. We have an experienced team of gynecologic oncologists, unique OB/GYN physicians who have extensive special training to provide comprehensive medical and surgical care to women with reproductive tract cancers.
  • Q: What does it mean if my cancer spreads? How does it happen?

    A:

    Cancer spreads when the tumor’s cancer cells enter the blood stream or the lymph nodes. This spreading is referred to as “metastasis,” and the cancer is referred to as metastatic cancer. Because the metastatic cells are from the original cancer, referred to as the “primary,” the cancer is still the original cancer, although existing now in another part of the body. For example:

    • If uterine cancer metastasizes into the bladder, the tumor that forms in the bladder is made up of uterine cancer cells. It is still uterine cancer, even though it’s now located in the bladder.

    Treatment for metastatic cancer will depend on where it began (its primary source), the location and size of the metastatic cancer, previous cancer treatments and the patient’s health.

  • Q: What are the different stages of uterine sarcoma?

    A:

    Staging is the process of determining the extent of the cancer, whether or not it has spread within the uterus and/or outside of the uterus to other organs. Staging is important in determining the type of treatment most appropriate for the cancer.

    Stage I: In stage I, cancer is found in the uterus only. Stage I is divided into stage IA, stage IB, and stage IC, based on how far the cancer has spread.

    • Stage IA: Cancer is in the endometrium only.
    • Stage IB: Cancer has spread into the inner half of the myometrium (muscle layer of the uterus).
    • Stage IC: Cancer has spread into the outer half of the myometrium.

    Stage II: In stage II, cancer has spread from the uterus to the cervix. Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB, based on how far the cancer has spread.

    • Stage IIA: Cancer has spread to the glands where the cervix and uterus meet.
    •  
    • Stage IIB: Cancer has spread into the connective tissue of the cervix.

    Stage III: In stage III, cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but has not spread beyond the pelvis. Stage III is divided into stage IIIA and stage IIIB, based on how far the cancer has spread within the pelvis.

    • Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to one or more of the following:
    • the outermost layer of the uterus; and/or
    • tissues just beyond the uterus; and/or
    • the peritoneum
    • Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis and/or near the uterus.

    Stage IV: In stage IV, cancer has spread beyond the pelvis. Stage IV is divided into stage IVA and stage IVB, based on how far the cancer has spread.

    • Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to the lining of the bladder and/or bowel.
    • Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the pelvis, including lymph nodes in the abdomen and/or groin

    Recurrence: This is cancer that has been treated and has returned after a period of time when the cancer could not be detected. The disease may return in the uterus or in another part of the body.

  • Q: What are the different stages of endometrial cancer?

    A:

    Staging is the process of determining the extent of the cancer, whether or not it has spread within the uterus and/or outside of the uterus to other organs. Staging is important in determining the type of treatment most appropriate for the cancer.

    The National Cancer Institute describes the stages of endometrial cancer in this way:

    Stage I: In stage I, cancer is found in the uterus only. Stage I is divided into stages IA, IB, and IC, based on how far the cancer has spread.

    • Stage IA: Cancer is in the endometrium only.
    • Stage IB: Cancer has spread into the inner half of the myometrium (muscle layer of the uterus).
    • Stage IC: Cancer has spread into the outer half of the myometrium.

    Stage II: In stage II, cancer has spread from the uterus to the cervix, but has not spread outside the uterus. Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB, based on how far the cancer has spread into the cervix.

    • Stage IIA: Cancer has spread to the glands where the cervix and uterus meet.
    • Stage IIB: Cancer has spread into the connective tissue of the cervix.

    Stage III: In stage III, cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but has not spread beyond the pelvis. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC, based on how far the cancer has spread within the pelvis.

    • Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to one or more of the following:
    • the outermost layer of the uterus; or
    • tissue just beyond the uterus; or
    • the peritoneum
    • Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, into the vagina.
    • Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the uterus.

    Stage IV: In stage IV, cancer has spread beyond the pelvis. Stage IV is divided into stages IVA and IVB, based on how far the cancer has spread.

    • Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to the bladder and/or bowel wall.
    • Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the pelvis, including lymph nodes in the abdomen and/or groin.

    Recurrence: This is cancer that has been treated and has returned after a period of time when the cancer could not be detected. The disease may return in the uterus or in another part of the body.

  • Q: How serious is my uterine cancer diagnosis?

    A: We understand this is the biggest question for someone newly diagnosed with any cancer. The answer you’re looking for, however, is individual to you, just as it is individual to other uterine cancer patients, and so cannot be generalized in an FAQ. 

    It’s important to talk to your doctor about the seriousness of your uterine cancer diagnosis with a friend or family member present to help you hear and remember the information your doctor shares with you. Ask your doctor to explain the stage your cancer is in and what that means for your treatment and recovery. Share with your doctor your fears and concerns.

    At OhioHealth, we have the advanced technology to diagnose and treat this disease. We have highly skilled and experienced physicians who know how to fight it.
  • Q: Does OhioHealth offer any clinical trials for uterine cancer?

    A: Talk to your doctor about your interest in participating in a clinical trial for uterine cancer. Your doctor will be able to give you information about any trials for uterine cancer going on at OhioHealth. Also visit the National Cancer Institute’s website for information on clinical trials to help you learn more about them, so that you may have an informed discussion with your doctor.
  • Q: Will surgery be part of my treatment?

    A: Most women with uterine cancer have surgery to remove the uterus (called a hysterectomy) through an incision in the abdomen. The surgeon also removes the fallopian tubes and ovaries; however, whether a hysterectomy or any other surgery will be considered part of your treatment depends on your individual cancer condition, as well as how well you would respond to surgery. Your doctor and others on your Cancer Care Team will work closely with you to help determine treatment options best for you.
  • Q: What treatment options are available to me, and how will they affect my daily life?

    A: Uterine cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy. The options available to you will depend on the stage of your cancer and the condition of your overall health. 

    It’s understandable to be worried about how this disease and its treatments will change your body. Treatment for this cancer can involve removal of your reproductive organs, which will affect getting pregnant and having children. If this is a concern for you, talk candidly with your doctor about your hopes and fears so your doctor can work closely with you to determine the best treatment option for your specific case. 

    Every cancer patient is unique in her treatment needs, and it’s best to talk with your doctor about what options will work for you, as well as what it means for your quality of life going forward.
  • Q: Where do I find more information on uterine sarcoma?

    A: There’s a lot of information about uterine sarcoma on the Web and in bookstores. We recommend you start with the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute for their comprehensive expertise. From there you’ll find more resources.

    Visit these websites for more information on uterine sarcoma:
    National Cancer Institute
    American Cancer Society
  • Q: Where do I find more information on endometrial cancer?

    A: There’s a lot of information about endometrial cancer on the Web and in bookstores. We recommend you start with the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute for their comprehensive expertise. From there you’ll find more resources.

    Visit these websites for more information on endometrial cancer:
    National Cancer Institute
    American Cancer Society

Want more answers? Browse all of the OhioHealth cancer patient FAQs. General FAQ

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