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Stage 1

Find out what stage 1 womb cancer means and about treatment options.

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it’s spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.

Stage 1 cancers are early cancers and the easiest to treat. The cancer is within the womb. Stage 1 is divided into:

  • 1A means that the cancer may have grown into the muscle wall (myometrium) of the womb, but no more than halfway
  • 1B means the cancer has grown halfway or more into the muscle wall of the womb
Stage 1 womb cancer.jpg

Treatment

The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:

  • the type of womb cancer you have
  • how the cancer is likely to behave (the grade)
  • your general health
  • your preferences

Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for stage 1 womb cancer.

Your surgeon (gynaecological oncologist) removes your womb and cervix (a hysterectomy), and usually both fallopian tubes and ovaries. They may also remove lymph nodes in your pelvis to check for cancer cells.

You might have radiotherapy if you can't have surgery because of other health conditions

Treatment after surgery

Treatment after surgery is called adjuvant treatment. It lowers the chance of the cancer coming back.

You might not need adjuvant treatment if you have a very early cancer (stage 1A) that has a low risk of coming back (generally grade 1 or 2).

Radiotherapy

Women with a higher risk of their cancer coming back, such as high grade cancer or stage 1B, will usually have radiotherapy after surgery. You might have internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) or external radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy

Some women with high grade or type 2 endometrial cancers (such as serous carcinoma) may have chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy after surgery.

Last reviewed: 
17 Aug 2017
  • Revised FIGO staging for carcinoma of the vulva, cervix and endometrium
    S Pecorelli
    International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 2009, Volume 105, Issue 2

  • ESMO-ESGO-ESTRO Consensus Conference on Endometrial Cancer: diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

    N Columbo and others (2016) 

    Annals of Oncology 27: 16–41

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