About advanced womb cancer

Unfortunately advanced cancer can’t usually be cured. But treatment might control it, help symptoms, and improve your quality of life for some time.

Sometimes cancer is advanced when it is first diagnosed. Or the cancer has come back and spread after treatment for the original cancer.

Cancers that have spread to another part of the body are called:

  • secondary cancer
  • metastases
  • metastatic cancer

Where womb cancer can spread

There is treatment available if your womb cancer can't be cured. This treatment might not get rid of the cancer altogether, but it might be able to shrink it, slow down the growth and control your symptoms.

Sometimes the cancer keeps coming back in the pelvis or abdomen despite all the treatment you have had. This is called recurrent cancer.

Less often, womb cancer can spread from where it started in the womb to other organs in the body. Some of the womb cancer cells may have travelled through the lymphatic system or bloodstream and lodged in another part of the body. They have then started to grow there.

Womb cancer most often spreads to the:

  • lungs
  • bones
  • liver
  • brain

How you might feel

Finding out that you can’t be cured is distressing and can be a shock. It’s common to feel uncertain and anxious. It's normal to not be able to think about anything else.

Lots of information and support is available to you, your family and friends. Some people find it helpful to find out more about their cancer and the treatments they might have. Many people find that knowing more about their situation can make it easier to cope.

    Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse to understand:

    • what your diagnosis means
    • what is likely to happen
    • what treatment is available
    • how treatment can help you
    • Cancer and its management (7th edition)
      J Tobias and D Hochhauser
      Blackwell, 2015

    • Cancer. Principles and practice of oncology (11th edition)
      VT De Vita, TS Lawrence and SA Rosenberg
      Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2018

    Last reviewed: 
    30 Jan 2022
    Next review due: 
    10 Feb 2024

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