When meeting with your gynecologic oncologist, you may want to bring a friend or relative to help you remember your questions and to take notes. From your first visit, having a better understanding of
uterine cancer may help you feel confident in your decisions and prepared for whatever may come next.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), you are encouraged to ask questions and be an active participant in your treatment decisions. Our uterine cancer experts are committed to providing thorough, easy-to-understand answers.
Here are answers to some common questions uterine cancer patients ask their doctors:
What is uterine cancer?
Uterine cancers may form in various areas of the uterus (also called the womb), the hollow pelvic organ where a fetus grows in women. Uterine cancer that forms in the inner lining of the uterus is considered endometrial cancer, which is the most common form of the disease. Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas, or cancers that begin in glands that secrete mucus and other fluids.
Uterine sarcoma is an uncommon form of uterine cancer that forms in the muscle and tissue that support the uterus. Uterine sarcoma is typically treated differently than endometrial cancer.
How will uterine cancer affect my fertility?
Uterine cancer treatment may affect your ability to conceive. The uterus, also called the womb, is a critical component of a woman’s reproductive system and houses the growing fetus during pregnancy. Sometimes the ovaries are removed as part of uterine cancer treatment. Ovarian cortex cryopreservation may be an option for women of childbearing age who want to get pregnant via a surrogate after treatment.
Does it matter how much experience a doctor has in treating my type and stage of uterine cancer?
Gynecologic oncologists who are experienced in treating cancer of the uterus may be better equipped to explain and deliver the full range of treatment options. You should feel comfortable asking your doctor about his or her experience. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive, you may want to consider getting a second opinion.
How can I reduce my risk for uterine cancer?
Research has shown that certain factors may help lower the risk of uterine cancer, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking birth control pills, especially over a long period of time
- Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels if you are diabetic
Why does obesity increase the risk for cancer of the uterus?
Fat tissue may change some hormones into estrogen. Being obese and having excess fat tissue may increase a woman's estrogen levels, which raises her endometrial cancer risk. Endometrial cancer is twice as common in overweight women as in women who maintain a healthy weight, and the disease is more than three times as common in obese women. Obese women who experience early menopause may be at an even greater risk.