Treatment for uterine cancer usually involves removal of the uterus, including the cervix (called total hysterectomy), and removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries (called bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). Surgery may be performed through an incision in the abdomen or through the vagina (called transvaginal hysterectomy).
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Postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue are common side effects of surgery. Patients may remain hospitalized for a few days to 1 week and usually can resume normal activities in 4 to 8 weeks. Complications include the following:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hemorrhage (bleeding) caused by injury to surrounding blood vessels (e.g., artery, vein)
- Injury to surrounding organs (e.g., large intestine)
- Thromboembolism (blockage of an artery or vein by a blood clot) Surgery is curative in about 65% of cases of early-stage uterine cancer.
Patients with tumors confined to the uterus are at low risk for recurrent or metastatic disease and usually do not require additional treatment. Follow-up care includes physical and pelvic examinations, x-rays, and blood and urine tests at 6 to 12 month intervals.
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