Treating Uterine Sarcoma
Considering treatment options
After the diagnostic tests are done, your cancer care team will recommend one or more treatment options. Don't feel rushed about making a decision. If there is anything you do not understand, ask to have it explained again. The choice of treatment depends largely on the type of cancer and stage of the disease when it is diagnosed. Other factors might play a part in choosing the best treatment plan. These could include your age, your overall state of health, whether you plan to have children, and other personal considerations. Be sure you understand all of the risks and side effects of different treatment options before making a decision.
From the start, keep in mind that you will be dealing with your own body and emotions. While you are deciding what kind of treatment to have, you will find it helpful to discuss options with your family and friends, as well as with your primary care doctor and nurse. At every step of the way, before treatment, during treatment, and in recovery, you should talk with your cancer care team about side effects and ways to avoid them or make them easier to handle. They want to answer your questions, so ask them! See “What should you ask your doctor about uterine sarcoma” for possible questions to ask.
You might want to get a second opinion. This can provide more information and help you feel confident about the treatment plan you choose. Some insurance companies require a second opinion before they will pay for certain treatments, but a second opinion is usually not required for routine cancer treatments.
These are the basic types of treatment for women with uterine sarcoma:
A combination of these treatments may be used. Which treatment--or treatments-- are used depends on the type and stage of your cancer as well as your overall medical condition. Most women with uterine sarcoma have surgery to remove the cancer. Radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy are sometimes given to lower the risk of the cancer coming back after surgery. These treatments may also be used for cancers that cannot be removed with surgery or when a woman can't have surgery because she has other health problems.
Thinking about taking part in a clinical trial
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases, they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they are not right for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials. You can also call our clinical trials matching service at 1-800-303-5691 for a list of studies that meet your medical needs, or see the Clinical Trials section on our website to learn more.
Considering complementary and alternative methods
You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasn’t mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be dangerous.
Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known (or not known) about the method, which can help you make an informed decision. See the Complementary and Alternative Medicine section of our website to learn more.
Help getting through cancer treatment
Your cancer care team will be your first source of information and support, but there are other resources for help when you need it. Hospital- or clinic-based support services are an important part of your care. These might include nursing or social work services, financial aid, nutritional advice, rehab, or spiritual help.
The American Cancer Society also has programs and services – including rides to treatment, lodging, support groups, and more – to help you get through treatment. Call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and speak with one of our trained specialists on call 24 hours a day, every day.
For information about some of the most common approaches used based on the extent of the disease, see the section “ Treatment options for uterine sarcoma, by stage.”