"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study comparing hospital and telephone follow up after treatment for womb cancer (ENDCAT)
This study compared telephone calls with hospital visits as follow up for women who have had treatment for womb (endometrial) cancer.
More about this trial
After finishing treatment for womb cancer, you have follow up appointments. This is so your doctor can see how you are getting on.
These follow up appointments can cause some anxiety. And it is unlikely that they will pick up on any signs of your cancer coming back if you don’t have symptoms.
Women who have problems after treatment, normally pick up symptoms themselves, or during routine tests.
Specialist trained nurses called clinical nurse specialists (or CNSs) have the knowledge and skills to carry out follow up appointments. If they do this by telephone, you don’t have to go to a busy outpatient clinic.
In this study, researchers wanted to learn more about what women think of telephone follow up.
The aim of this study was to compare a telephone follow up done by a CNS with hospital follow up after womb cancer treatment.
Summary of results
The study team concluded that telephone follow up was as good as hospital follow up at picking up signs of womb cancer coming back. And women found telephone follow up more convenient.
259 women who had treatment for stage 1 womb cancer took part. A stage 1 womb cancer has a low risk of coming back, or spreading to other parts of the body.
Everyone who took part had been a patient at one of 5 hospitals in the north west of England.
This study was randomised. Women were put into 1 of 2 groups:
- standard hospital follow up
- telephone follow up with a CNS
Everyone who took part completed questionnaires before the start of the study and then after:
- the 1st telephone or hospital follow up
- 6 months
- 12 months
The questionnaires asked about the women’s
Standard hospital follow up
130 women took part in this group. Everyone had a number of hospital follow up visits that were part of the standard care.
The number of visits depended on the hospital where they had treatment.
Telephone follow up with a CNS
Women had the same number of telephone follow ups as they would have had hospital visits. 129 women took part in this group.
The study team also asked 25 women and 6 clinical nurse specialists to have an interview. They wanted to find out what women and nurses thought about having the telephone follow up.
The study team looked at the number of women whose cancer came back after treatment (recurrence). They found it was 5 women in each group.
Every woman whose cancer came back had symptoms. Women who were being followed up on the telephone were asked to go to hospital when they had symptoms.
The team also looked at the amount of time it took to diagnose the recurrence, after the symptoms started. They found it was the same in both groups.
The study team concluded that telephone follow up was as good as hospital follow up at picking up signs of womb cancer coming back.
The study team also concluded that women found telephone follow up more convenient. Women saved time and money as they didn’t had to travel to hospital.
Women in both groups were asked about their quality of life and if they were happy with their follow up care. The study team found that the quality of life and level of satisfaction with the follow up was high in both groups.
The study team also found that the CNS had the skills and knowledge to pick up on signs of the cancer coming back and to do telephone follow up.
The research team thinks that telephone follow up is effective and can be used instead of hospital follow up for women who have had treatment for low risk womb cancer.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Kinta Beaver
NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Central Lancashire