Uterine Cancer Treatments
If you've been diagnosed with uterine cancer, the caring specialists at Northwestern Medicine offer the latest therapy options. Often, your care plan will include a combination of treatments.
Surgery is typically the first course of treatment for uterine cancer. Depending upon the stage and grade of your cancer, your Northwestern Medicine gynecologic oncology team may recommend several surgical options.
- Hysterectomy: A hysterectomy is the removal of your uterus and cervix
- Radical hysterectomy: Depending on the extent of your cancer, it may be necessary for surgeons to remove your uterus, cervix and ovaries, as well as the upper part of your vagina and surrounding tissues
- Lymphadenectomy: Your surgical team may also remove the lymph nodes in your pelvis to better stage your cancer and determine treatment
- da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System: This minimally invasive alternative to both open surgery and laparoscopy requires only a few tiny incisions, which can mean reduced pain and a faster return to daily activities
Radiation therapy uses precision-targeted and controlled doses of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Types of radiation therapy used to treat uterine cancer include:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT): A target method, usually by a linear accelerator, to deliver a beam or several beams of high-energy radiation to the site of a tumor, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue
- Brachytherapy: An advanced cancer treatment that delivers a highly concentrated dose of radiation near or in the tumor, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue
- 3-D conformal radiation therapy: A radiation therapy technique that sculpts radiation beams to the shape of a tumor
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): A cancer therapy that "sculpts" the dose of radiation to conform to the unique shape of a tumor
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): Uses frequent images during a course of radiation therapy to improve the precision and accuracy of the radiation delivery
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Your care team may recommend one or a combination of the following chemotherapy medications to treat your uterine cancer:
- Adriamycin (doxorubicin hydrochloride)
- Ifex (ifosphamide)
- Platinol (cisplatin)
- Taxol (paclitaxel)
- Gemzar (gemcitabine)
- Taxotere (docetaxel)
Through a hormone receptor test, your physician can determine if the hormones in your body are causing cancer cells to grow. If so, hormone therapy can help prevent the growth, spread and recurrence of uterine cancer.
Through leading-edge clinical trials, Northwestern Medicine brings you access to some of the latest treatment possibilities for cancer. Learn more about current clinical trials.