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What are the treatment options for uterine cancer?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for uterine cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or hormone therapy, according to Cancer.net. The type or combination of treatments used varies based on an individual's needs and the stage at which the cancer is found.

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Full Answer

Surgery is typically the first treatment used to treat uterine cancer, states Cancer.net. It can include a hysterectomy, either a simple one that removes only the cervix and uterus or a radical hysterectomy in which the doctor removes not only the cervix and uterus but also the upper part of the vagina and surrounding tissue.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells, according to Cancer.net. The most common type of radiation therapy performed is external-beam therapy. If a woman is unable to undergo surgery, doctors often choose to perform radiation therapy. Similarly, chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells by halting their ability to grow and multiply. However, unlike radiation therapy, which is usually delivered via an external machine, chemotherapy is given through a person's bloodstream. Doctors use either an intravenous unit or pills the patient swallows.

Finally, hormone therapy uses specific hormones to slow the cancer's growth, according to Cancer.net. This therapy often involves oral doses of a hormone called progesterone but can also include aromatase inhibitors, which are typically used to treat breast cancer.

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