Uterine cancer recurrence is understandably on the minds of many survivors. That’s because, like other forms of cancer, uterine, or endometrial, cancer can sometimes come back after a patient’s initial course of treatment is completed. One of the best ways for a woman to deal with any related worries and fears is to take a proactive role in her health. She can do so by paying close attention to her body and reporting any symptoms to a physician right away. A patient's best chance at not having the cancer return comes from the initial diagnosis and treatment. That’s why it's important for our Gynecologic Oncology Program to be part of the initial care a patient receives.
Monitoring a patient for uterine cancer recurrence
Common signs of endometrial cancer recurrence include vaginal bleeding, changes in bowel or bladder habits, abdominal pain, bloating, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting. After a patient completes her first round of treatment, a physician will usually monitor her carefully for uterine cancer recurrence. In general, this will entail regular follow-up visits scheduled every three to six months during the first three years after treatment (possibly less often thereafter). During each appointment, a physician will typically:
- Discuss the patient’s concerns
- Perform an extensive pelvic examination
- Examine the patient for enlarged lymph nodes, particularly in her groin area
- Obtain a Pap smear
- Order further testing, including CT scans, ultrasounds and biopsies, if deemed potentially helpful
The most appropriate treatment for uterine cancer recurrence depends on whether the cancer has spread beyond the uterus and, if so, the areas of the body that are affected. Some patients respond well to chemotherapy, radiation treatment and/or progesterone hormone therapy. Sometimes, treatment is focused on managing pain, bleeding and abdominal pressure to improve a patient’s quality of life.
Treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida. By leading the way with our robust clinical trials, we are able to offer our patients the most advanced options in the treatment of uterine cancer recurrence, and we recommend a highly individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through our ongoing research and promising studies, we are continually contributing to the growing body of medical knowledge, which allows us to better understand uterine cancer and develop improved treatments that enhance survival rates and enrich our patients’ lives.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Wenham, Department Chair, Gynecologic Oncology
If you have questions about uterine cancer recurrence and would like to consult with a physician at Moffitt, you can do so without a referral. Contact us at 1-888-663-3488, or access our new patient registration form.