Uterine Cancer

Uterine Cancer

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Uterine cancer experts at Duke's nationally ranked cancer center detect and treat cancer that occurs in the endometrial lining of the uterus, also known as endometrial cancer. Our gynecologic oncologists in Durham and Raleigh have completed years of advanced training and are specialists in treating cancers that affect the female reproductive system.

We draw upon the latest research findings and our ongoing clinical trials to tailor chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical treatment options to minimize the impact on your fertility and sexuality. If surgery is needed, we have the skill to perform complex procedures. Our goal is to detect uterine cancer early, provide the treatment that's best for you, and increase your chances for a positive long-term outcome.

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Treatments

Hysterectomy

Often the first line of treatment. Removes the uterus and cervix. Hysterectomies may be performed through small incisions robotically or with a laparoscope. These minimally invasive options reduce scarring, minimize bleeding, shorten your hospital stay, and speed up your recovery. 

Lymph Node Removal

Lymph nodes may be removed during hysterectomy to determine if your cancer has spread. Your surgeon may check just a few key lymph nodes, called a sentinel node dissection, or more lymph nodes may be removed during a full node dissection, depending on how far your cancer has spread.

Radiation Therapy

Uses external high-energy X-rays to target the tumor and kill cancer cells. Our radiation oncologists are specially trained to deliver radiation for uterine cancer and minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Radiation therapy may be recommended following surgery or when surgery is not an option.

Chemotherapy

Administered by mouth or intravenously, chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery to kill cancer cells or slow cancer growth.

Hormone Therapy

Anti-estrogens or progestins may be given to slow or stop uterine cancer cell growth. These may be used in combination with other treatments, or in women who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy or who want to preserve their fertility.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Tests

Pelvic Exam

Allows doctors to feel for any unusual changes or masses in the vagina, uterus, and cervix.

Biopsy

Removes a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endometrial biopsy extracts tissue from the endometrial lining through a small tube inserted into the uterus. Biopsy is the definitive diagnostic tool for cancer and can also determine if cancer has spread to surrounding tissue, including your lymph nodes.

Dilation and Curettage (D and C)

Performed when abnormal bleeding is present and before uterine cancer is diagnosed. The uterus is dilated and a tool called a curette is used to remove additional endometrial tissue following biopsy. May be performed with a hysteroscopy, a thin, tube-like device that allows doctors to look inside the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Imaging Tests

Transvaginal ultrasound, X-ray, CT, and MRI scans may be used to create high-quality images of your uterus and surrounding organs. Used to pinpoint the location of your tumor and determine whether it has spread.

Genetic Testing

May be performed in women who are diagnosed before the age of 50, have had colon cancer or rectal cancer, or have a family member who has tested positive for certain gene mutations.

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Uterine Cancer Specialists

A Nationally-Ranked Cancer Program
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are recognized for exploring new treatment options through ongoing clinical trials. We can offer you the latest research discoveries before they are available elsewhere.

Access to Our Clinical Trials
You may be eligible to participate in our ongoing clinical trials. These trials explore new therapies, including chemotherapy drugs that slow or kill cancer cells, immunotherapy drugs that boost your body’s ability to fight cancer, and biologic therapies that block the systems that allow cancer to grow in your body.

Specialists in Female Reproductive System Cancers
Studies show that women with reproductive system cancers who are cared for by gynecologic oncologists have better outcomes.

Fertility Services for Cancer Survivors
If you are concerned about the impact of chemotherapy and/or radiation on your fertility, experts at the Duke Fertility Center will work closely with you to discuss fertility preservation treatments, which may include egg freezing, tissue banking, and experimental options that are available through our ongoing clinical trials.

Convenient Appointments
We schedule your appointments quickly, coordinate your schedule with your uterine cancer team, and work with you to develop the best treatment plan.

Hereditary Cancer Clinic
The genetic counselors in our hereditary cancer clinic work with you if your family history puts you at increased risk of developing uterine cancer or if you have a family member who has tested positive for certain gene mutations.

Support for You and Your Family
Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of cancer treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.

Among the Best Cancer Hospitals in U.S.

Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital's cancer program is ranked among the nation's best.
Reviewed: 12/17/2018