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is a tumor that develops in any of the 3 layers of your uterus. The endometrium is the inner layer and is the layer shed during a normal period. Endometrial carcinoma is the more common type of uterine cancer. Uterine sarcomas are cancers that start in the muscle or connective tissue of the uterus.
Common symptoms include the following:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, such as heavier periods, bleeding between periods, or bleeding after menopause
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- A lump in your pelvic area
- Weight loss without trying
- Fatigue or feeling more tired than usual
Call 911 for any of the following:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- You cough up blood.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have vaginal bleeding when it is not time for your period.
- You see blood in your urine.
- Your bowel movements are bloody or black.
Contact your healthcare provider or oncologist if:
- You have pain or discomfort in your back, pelvis, hips, or abdomen.
- You do not want to eat, or you have lost weight without trying.
- Your abdomen or legs are swollen.
- You feel a lump in your pelvic area.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for uterine cancer
may include any of the following:
- Hysterectomy is surgery to remove your uterus. Your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
- Hormone medicine may be used if the cancer is sensitive to hormones.
- Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells with high-energy x-ray beams.
- Chemotherapy medicines are used to kill cancer cells.
- Ablation is a procedure to destroy the endometrium. You may need ablation if you have heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Manage your uterine cancer:
- Do not smoke. Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your uterine cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and delays healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. If you have nausea or diarrhea from cancer treatment, extra liquids may help decrease your risk for dehydration.
- Eat healthy foods. Foods may taste different during cancer treatment. You may not feel like eating, and you may lose weight. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours. Ask a dietitian for more information about the best eating plan for you.
- Exercise as directed. Ask your healthcare provider or oncologist about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise prevents muscle loss and can help you feel more like eating.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol as directed. Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:
You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing treatments or tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.