Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Nell Suby

Nell Suby, MD

Gyn Oncology

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a web site that my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. I hope you find its content informative and useful.

My Offices

Sacramento Medical Center
Appt/Advice: 916-614-4055

See all office information »

subContentURL_nobackslash = resources/dc/condition

firstActiveTabUrlFragment = resources/dc/conditionlist

subContentURL_nobackslash = resources/dc/condition

JSP2Include = /mdo/presentation/conditions/condition.jsp?nocache=true

Overview

Endometrial cancer is also known as uterine cancer. This cancer:

  • Occurs when the cells that line the uterus become cancerous (malignant).
  • Is the most common women’s reproductive organ cancer.
  • Is often found at an early stage, when women report that they’re having unusual vaginal bleeding.

The uterus is a pear-shaped organ located in the middle of a woman’s pelvic area. The inner lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. 

We usually treat endometrial cancer by removing the uterus. This surgery, called a hysterectomy, cures the cancer in most women. Some women also need radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Additional References:

Surgery

Depending on how far your cancer has spread (stage), your surgical treatment for endometrial cancer may include:

  • Total hysterectomy. Removal of the uterus and cervix.
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. This is usually done at the same time as a hysterectomy.

Lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen may also be removed to check for cancer spread.

Today, most surgeons use a use a robot-assisted method called laparoscopy to perform hysterectomy. A small opening (incision) is made in the abdomen. This method results in fewer complications. 

In rare cases a surgeon may need to do an older type of hysterectomy. A long incision is made in the abdomen. 

Depending on the type of hysterectomy you have, recovery will take 2 to 6 weeks.

Surgery Side Effects

After a hysterectomy, you will:

  • Be unable to get pregnant.
  • Stop having menstrual periods.
  • Enter menopause, if you haven’t already, if your ovaries are removed.

If you enter menopause, you may have symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

Surgery will not affect your sexual function. 

Other side effects of surgery may include:

  • Infection
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Constipation
  • Leg swelling (lymphedema) if lymph nodes were removed

We will talk with you about possible side effects and how to prevent or manage them.

Additional References:

Radiation Therapy

Some women need radiation after surgery for endometrial cancer. High-energy waves, such as X-rays, are used to kill any cancer cells that remain in your body. 

Radiation therapy can be delivered in 2 ways:

  • Vaginal brachytherapy. A device is placed inside your vagina. It delivers radiation directly to the cancer, for a few minutes.
  • External-beam radiation therapy. A machine placed outside your body aims radiation at the exact location of the cancer. This type of radiation therapy is given 5 times a week for up to 6 weeks.

The stage and type of your endometrial cancer help us decide which type of radiation therapy to recommend for you.

Additional References:

Chemotherapy

Depending on the stage of your cancer, after surgery you may be given chemotherapy. This is to get rid of any cancer cells that remain in your body. 

Chemotherapy, or “chemo,” is the term for the medicines that kill cancer cells. Usually several medicines are given in combination.

Chemotherapy:

  • Is given by an injection into a woman’s vein (IV).
  • Circulates through the bloodstream.
  • Is given every few weeks, for 6 treatments in total.

Chemotherapy is sometimes given with radiation therapy. This is called chemoradiation. This combined method can make treatment more effective overall.

Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy Side Effects

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy kill cancer cells, but may also damage normal tissues. Side effects range from mild to serious. We can help you manage any side effects.

Either radiation or chemotherapy can cause side effects that include:

  • Tiredness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Menopause-like symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Other possible radiation therapy side effects include:

  • Skin tenderness or redness.
  • Frequent urination or blood in urine.
  • Loss of pubic hair.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Loss of the ability to become pregnant (infertility).
  • End of menstruation. Periods return over time in some younger women.

Other possible chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Anemia (low level of red blood cells).
  • Increased risk of infection (low level of white blood cells).
  • Bruising and bleeding easily (low level of blood platelets).
  • Hair loss.
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in hands and feet.
  • Reduced kidney function.
  • Hearing loss.

Clinical Trials

We may suggest that you join a clinical trial. Clinical trials are designed to study how to improve cancer treatment for patients. 

Some clinical trials research new treatments. Others compare new treatments to those already in use.

Additional References:

Follow-up Care

After treatment we’ll make a follow-up care plan. We want to keep a careful eye on you, to quickly catch any sign of cancer returning and help you with any ongoing treatment side effects.

For the next few years, your follow-up visits will:

  • Occur every 6 months.
  • Be with your regular gynecologist, a doctor who specializes in women’s cancers, or another cancer specialist.
  • Include a physical exam and possibly blood tests and X-rays.
  • Give you time to talk with us about any side effects of treatment that continue to bother you. We can help you manage this important part of your recovery.

Contact us immediately if you develop:

  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • A cough that doesn’t go away.
  • Pain in your belly or pelvis.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

What You Can Do

Taking care of yourself throughout treatment and after is very important. Be sure to:

  • Choose healthy foods.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Be active every day, when you feel well enough.
  • Keep your regularly scheduled follow-up appointments.
  • Join a support group where you can talk to people with experiences similar to yours.
  • Talk with your partner or a therapist about any intimacy issues.

Getting Your Care at Kaiser Permanente

Related Health Tools:

Interactive Programs
Prepare for Your Procedure
Videos

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

Content loading spinner