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Decisions about your treatment

Find out how your doctor decides which treatment you need, the types of treatment you might have and treatment by stage.

Deciding which treatment you need

A team of doctors and other professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you. They are called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

The treatment you have depends on:

  • where your cancer is
  • how far it has grown or spread (the stage)
  • the type of cancer
  • how abnormal the cells look under a microscope (the grade)
  • your general health and level of fitness

Your doctor will discuss your treatment, its benefits and the possible side effects with you.

Treatment overview

The main treatments are:

  • surgery
  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • hormone therapy

You have one or more of these treatments.

Treatment by cancer stage

Stage 1 and 2

Surgery is the main treatment for early stage womb cancer. Generally, your surgeon removes your womb and cervix (hysterectomy), and usually both ovaries and fallopian tubes. They may also remove lymph nodes in your pelvis to check for cancer cells.

You usually have radiotherapy after surgery, unless you have a very early cancer (stage 1A) that has a low risk of coming back (low grade).

If there is a high risk of your cancer coming back, for example a high grade cancer, you may have chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy after surgery.

Stage 3

Depending on how far your cancer has spread, you may have surgery to remove the cancer. You then have radiotherapy and possibly chemotherapy.

If you can't have surgery, you usually have chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Or you may have hormone therapy.

Stage 4

For some stage 4 cancers, you may have surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. You may then have chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both.

If you can't have surgery, you may have:

  • hormone treatment
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • a combination of these treatments

Clinical trials to improve treatment

Your doctor might ask if you’d like to take part in a clinical trial. Doctors and researchers do trials to improve treatment by:

  • making existing treatments better
  • developing new treatments
Last reviewed: 
14 Oct 2014
  • Endometrial cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    N Colombo, E Preti, F Landoni and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2013, Vol 24 (Supplement 6)

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