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Is uterine cancer curable?

Mar 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5568 Questions
I was just diagnosed with early stage uterine cancer. I am being referred to a women's cancer care center as they specialize in this but also are the only ones near that will do the whole surgery laparascopically (sp). I have gone through 15-20 years of biopsies, hormones, ultrasounds only to wind up with cancer anyway. My sister had cancer, another was precancerous and an aunt died. Although I told the doctors this they refused my request last year for an ultrasound. Although the doctor sounds optimistic I have to say I am worried. Cancer is cancer. What they thought was a fibroid or cyst turned out to be a 'vagrant tumor'. I had renal cell cancer and a radical nephrectomy last July and I know this is not related to that but still, two cancers in one year. Do I dare hope for another total 'cure'? Yup, I am nervous, scared and overwhelmed with all this. Is it possible to safely remove the uterus, ovaries, lymph nodes, etc by this procedure without spreading any cancer? Also please tell me it is curable. I know, no guarantees and we wont know until the biopsy reports come back. I just feel like I have used up all my good luck...thank you
Posted Tue, 18 Feb 2014 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 4 hours later
Brief Answer: EARLY STAGE UTERINE CANCER CAN BE CURED BY SURGERY Detailed Answer: Hello Thanks for writing to us with your health concern. Firstly, congratulations to a survivor, for that's what you are ! Now, for the facts. ' Early stage ' uterine cancer is such a vague term. To give you statistics based on just this primary diagnosis would be presumptious of me. Firstly, the exact staging of uterine cancer can happen only AFTER surgery. This is when the uterus, cervix, both tubes , ovaries would be removed, and the surrounding lymph nodes sampled also. After this comprehensive evaluation, the cancer can be' staged '. Stage 0 cancer is when it is confined to the uterus, has not invaded the uterine wall or the cervix or surrounding tissues. If you indeed have ' early' or Stage 0 endometrial cancer, then it can be ' cured ' by the surgery itself. The prognosis of cancer is established by the 5 year survival rates - number of people who survive and are healthy 5 years after the antecedent cancer. For Stage 0 uterine cancer, these rates are extremely good - more than 90 % in fact. So, you have not used up all your good luck, if you have been diagnosed in time, your chances of surviving this one too , are more than 90 %, which are more than fairly good ! Stay positive - I know easier said than done. But do post whatever reports and information you have, or might have in the future ( you can upload these on this page ) to supplement the term ' early ' stage uterine cancer, and I will do my best to be more specific. For now, yes, early stage uterine cancers can be ' cured '. All the best and take care. Prayers for you too. Please feel free to revert.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 8 hours later
Thank you for your response and understanding. I know it all depends on what they find after the surgery is done. My concern is that I have these light aches or pains at times. Either they are getting worse or I am more aware of them. Is this bad news or could it still be early stage cancer? I am not a patient person and to have to wait for the dr appointment and then the surgery and then the report.....again. I seem to be a pro at this. I have uploaded the results of the ultrasound already. Let me know if you do not have it. I am going to ask for a copy of the uterine biopsy be sent to me and I will upload that when I have it. Thank you again. Any information you can give would be most appreciated. Di
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 hours later
Brief Answer: DETAILED BELOW Detailed Answer: Thank you for the appreciation. Yes, the bottomline is that you would know your odds only AFTER the surgery. Mild aches and pains are fine, and to be expected at 66, after all the surgeries you have gone through, and having survived a recent malignancy. Do not read much into them, yes, even whilst having them, you could still be harbouring a very early stage cancer. Unfortunately again, yes, you have to wait for the surgery and then the histopathology report. I do not see any report uploaded on this thread. Please upload it using the option on the right hand top corner of the page, below the section where you fill in all your history details. Alternatively, please contact the helpline at WWW.WWWW.WW to guide you regarding uploading of the report. At present, it is not here. I will look forward to receiving it, and then getting back to you. Wish you good health always. Take care.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 2 minutes later
My last period was 10 years ago and I am now 66. I never had any problems going through the change but have noticed I seem to have a lot of hot flashes lately. Does this mean anything combined with my diagnosis of early uterine cancer? Just wondering...thank you
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 3 minutes later
Brief Answer: DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING EITHER WAYS. Detailed Answer: No it does not add anything either ways to the diagnosis. A few women do experience these post menopausal symptoms sometimes later in life, rather than immediately preceding menopause. IT could be due to stress alongwith the hormonal imbalance caused by the cancer. Nothing to worry about, or derive any information from, positive or negative. All the best .
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 5 hours later
I am having problems with my computer and for whatever reason it will not let me upload the reports. Do you have an email I can send them to? Thank you..XXXX
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 8 hours later
Brief Answer: EXPLAINED BELOW Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX You can email the report to the following address - YYYY@YYYY Just ensure that in the subject headline, you must mention - ' ATTENTION - FOR DR. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX ' The report would then reach me . Take care.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 8 hours later
Reports uploaded. I sent the ultrasound report and the biopsy report to you to the email you mentioned. Thank you for your advice. I just hope it is all good. I know there are no guarantees and I have to wait for the final biopsy. I have not heard yet when I have my appointment with the doctor. Let's get this show on the road....
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 35 minutes later
Brief Answer: EXPLAINED BELOW Detailed Answer: Hello again. Yes, I have received the reports. The ultrasound is quite unremarkable, and not at all suspicious of a cancer. So I can understand your apprehension. The biopsy conclusively shows a uterine cancer. This is FIGO grade 1. Survival rates for this grade are definitely well over 80 %. Now only AFTER the uterus is removed, can further comment be made. The next staging depends on how much the tumour has invaded the uterine muscle. If it has not invaded the uterine wall at all ( just confined to the cavity ) , survival chances exceed 90 %, if it has invaded less than half of the wall, it is more than 85 % still, and more than 75 % if the tumour has invaded more than half of the uterine wall. To put it positively, you are at the best possible situation, IF you had to have a uterine cancer, this is the best and earliest stage to have it detected. It is most amenable to surgery. To put it realistically, your chances of survival are far far more, than the chances of succumbing to the disease. All the best. Do keep me posted. Will keep you in my prayers.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 11 minutes later
Thank you for such a swift answer. I needed support this morning and something positive to hang on to. You realize I had renal cancer last year and am cancer free from that. Now this. I just wonder what my overall chances of having a nice long normal life are. Thank you for your prayers...I seem to be falling apart today Di
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 52 minutes later
Brief Answer: WRITTEN BELOW Detailed Answer: Thank you for the appreciation, Di. Whats normal ? There are people with NO disease to speak off, who crib and fret and squabble over trivialities, rendering the entire meaning of life futile. And then there are those like you, who have dealt with so much, and are still squaring their shoulders for a new tomorrow. I can see in your history that you have had much to deal with medically, this will just be another milestone, not the end, am sure of that. And these are not just niceties, it is based on my knowledge and assessment of your report. It is quite an early cancer, detected well in time. In my opinion, you should be fine after surgery. You need to stay positive, cliches apart. Falling apart is normal, its important to pick up the pieces and move on, as you always have. I know that dealing with two cancers in a row is a whopper, but then its the ablest shoulders that bear the cross ! And anytime you should have a doubt or a need to talk, just reach me directly on - WWW.WWWW.WW Take care.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 11 minutes later
God Bless have made my much as anyone can make it right now (smile)...I need to picture myself in my recliner recovering from this surgery and getting ready to enjoy the spring weather outdoors. I have to think of this as merely a hysterectomy and forget the attached part. Millions of women have hysterectomies and are still alive. I just lose my strength at times but I can tell you I will be reading and rereading your note to me many times to get strength. I thank you so much for your support and understanding. You speak of the strength in me. I hear that from those around me so much. How did you know me that well? :-) Thank you again and God Bless you...I will save your email address but promise to not overwhelm you. It is one of the things I don't like about this site. After so many days you are cut off from a doctor you have learned to trust and like. I am glad I will still have that avenue with you but promise to not misuse it. Enjoy your day, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: DETAILED BELOW Detailed Answer: How did I know that ? It comes through, shines through in your clarity of thought and your stance and forbearance. Having read of your surgery in July, anybody hearing of another cancer this soon would be on medication to stop them from going crazy. And here is a grand lady bracing herself for the spring ! The strength is palpable. You would NEVER overwhelm me, it is a matter of pride and pleasure to interact with a strong shining soul. You do not have to cut yourself off at any time. Please , do save this link - WWW.WWWW.WW When you go to this page, it will provide you with an option to interact directly with me . I am happy I have done my part, if my words and my prayers and thoughts can contribute towards healing you, in mind and in body. I believe that a strong mind and a strong soul overcomes all bodily ailments, and you will surely overcome this, and live to smile at it one day. For you, one of the scriptures, that is especially close to my heart - “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” God bless.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 11 minutes later
and you also know somehow how much my religion means to me. I feel like a modern day Job (smile) but will not lose the faith..only God knows what he has in store for me. I can only walk the path he shows me... Thank you again. I am going to go and have a great day:-)
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 9 minutes later
Brief Answer: TAKE CARE. Detailed Answer: Yes, could somehow sense the faith too. Guess it speaks to like minded souls. The length of life does not matter, the quality does. However, am sure you are going to have a long and productive one. Keep smiling, thats what matters ! Cheers !
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 24 hours later
Hello again I just wanted you to know that I went to bed last night feeling so much better and just thinking of the hysterectomy. I woke up also feeling positive though I still have those times where it gets to me. I want you to know how important your words were to me yesterday. I have printed them out and put them in my cancer notebook to read and remind myself I am strong, I will get through this with God's help and I do intend to live a very long time. While I wish my stage was a 0 I also realize stage 1 is not all that bad. I am still waiting on the phone call for the appointment with the cancer center. I also have been noticing the hormone effect on cancers and it mentions at times that these should be tested for receptors and this something in my future?I know, I wont know anything until I get to the specialist and through surgery. I do thank you and God for giving me the comfort that you have. I continue to say...May God Bless you....XXXX
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 11 hours later
Brief Answer: DETAILED BELOW Detailed Answer: Hello again. My apologies for the delay in responding this time, had a bad night with my twins ! Yes, regarding the hormone therapy for cancer, it does not play a very important role in endometrial cancer, particularly early stage of endometrial cancer. Hormones for endometrial cancer are advocated when the cancer has spread to other organs, and hormones are mainly given to slow down the spread throughout the body. After the surgical removal of the specimen ( the uterus ) it would be analysed to know if it is responsive to hormonal treatment ( not all cancers are ) via the receptor status, and in case ( God forbid ) you should have a recurrence or spread after some years, accordingly treatment would be targetted. If this makes you feel any better, there is no Stage 0 in endometrial cancer. The earliest beginning stage is stage 1, so you are right at the start. Thank you for making my day again, am honoured that my set of words ( they were , and are, straight from the heart ) , could provide you with some succour. I would always be within reach. I have a feeling you are going to sail through this surgery, coming out stronger and fresher than ever before ! Take care.
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Follow-up: Is uterine cancer curable? 15 hours later
Don't worry about me...your twins are the most important thing to take care of. And I cannot expect you to be here for me 24 hours a day. I had an extremely bad day yesterday emotionally but today am very up and pretty positive. I received a phone call from the Cancer center and I have an appointment on the 5th of February, Wednesday. I was told he will do a complete exam and talk about the surgery. I am trying not to think of things he might say more than what I know right now. Unless, of course, they are reassuring words. I was told the surgery should be by the end of February but you can imagine how anxious I am to get it done. I just thought I would let you know that progress is being made. Now I have an appointment with the head of the clinic... Thank you for your continued support. I hope it is ok that I feel of you as a friend as well as the medical advisor..... have a good night...XXXX I got thinking about something today......I am facing major surgery with only one kidney. Is this a matter I should be concerned with? Thank you
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