Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer: Survivorship & Support

When uterine cancer is discovered in its earliest, most treatable stages, more than 90 percent of women survive at least five years — and most are completely cured. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we believe that treating the whole person, not just the disease, is the best approach for patients and family members.

In our Survivorship Center, we describe a variety of services that address the needs of uterine cancer survivors in the years following treatment, including professionally led support groups and guidance about healthy living. We also offer a range of resources to help survivors, families, and friends better understand the complex emotional and social issues surrounding treatment.

Follow-up Care

After completing treatment for uterine cancer, you will need regular check-ups with your cancer care team to make sure that you stay cancer-free.

During follow-up appointments, your doctor may perform a blood test for CA-125 to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment. (CA-125 is a protein released by some uterine and ovarian cancer cells.) Other tests may include pelvic exams, Pap smears, and imaging scans. If you experience any new symptoms between follow-up appointments, please contact your doctor right away.

Some treatments for uterine cancer can cause the early onset of menopausal symptoms, including irregular periods, hot flashes, drying or thinning of vaginal tissues or the bladder, insomnia, fatigue, and memory problems. We provide counseling and treatment to help you manage the symptoms of menopause and the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that can occur.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Counseling Center

Our Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling sessions to help you and your family address issues and problems that may arise in adjusting to life during and after treatment.

Help for the Older Patient

A diagnosis of cancer is difficult at any age, but older patients face unique challenges. Memorial Sloan Kettering is committed to providing cancer patients aged 65 and older with the treatments, facilities, and support they need.

Memorial Sloan Kettering offers the services of a multidisciplinary geriatrics team, which includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nutrition experts, and psychiatrists, as well as members of the Palliative Care & Pain Management Service and the Integrative Medicine Service. The programs and care the team provides focus on the needs of elderly cancer patients.

Integrative Medicine Service

Our Integrative Medicine Service is designed to enhance cancer patients’ quality of life through healing regimens that address the body, mind, and spirit. Beneficial complementary therapies include various types of massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization, and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, tai chi, and chair aerobics.

Sexual Health

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s comprehensive offerings for women with gynecologic cancer include physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers with expertise in treating the vaginal and sexual-health issues, such as pain during sexual intercourse, which can arise after treatment. Learn more about our sexual-health support services.

Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Pictured: Jeannette Zucker
Video

Lymphedema expert Jeannette Zucker of Memorial Sloan Kettering explains that lymphedema is the progressive buildup of a protein-filled fluid that can cause swelling, infections, and other problems after surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes. Lymphedema can often be prevented with manual lymphatic drainage, but compression garments may be needed to manage the condition once it begins. Patients with lymphedema should keep their skin clean and well-hydrated to prevent infections and inflammation.

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Depending on the extent of your treatment for uterine cancer, you may find you need rehabilitation or physical therapy to help you get back to normal. Many women do.

You can get help for problems with balance, pain, coordination, endurance, flexibility, and more from our rehabilitation specialists. If you develop lymphedema following removal of lymph nodes, wherein excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling in the groin and legs, our physical therapists can help you manage symptoms and reduce the swelling as well as care for the skin in the affected area, regain mobility after surgery, and identify and avoid activities that might make the condition worse.

Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Support Group

Memorial Sloan Kettering offers support groups to give patients and their families the opportunity to discuss the challenges surrounding uterine and other gynecologic cancers. The group is co-led by social workers and nurses and is tailored to give women an opportunity to participate in discussions addressing the challenges of life after cancer treatment. Participants are encouraged to share concerns while gathering medical and rehabilitation information from healthcare staff. Visit our calendar for information about upcoming meetings.