Newly Diagnosed Endometrial Cancer Patients

A Guide to Your Next Steps After an Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis

An endometrial cancer diagnosis (also referred to as uterine cancer) brings a lot of emotions and many questions. It can be hard to wait until your first appointment to get more information! While only your doctors can give you specifics about your type of cancer and the treatment plan that’s best for you, we have developed some information that can help you prepare for what’s next.

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What Kind of Doctor Should I See Next?

Typically, the next step for endometrial cancer patients is to move from their gynecologist (or a primary care physician) to a gynecologic oncologist. This type of oncologist focuses specifically on cancers of a woman’s reproductive organs. 

The gynecologic oncologist will typically oversee the entire cancer treatment plan and can perform surgery. Your oncologist will take the time to learn about your specific diagnosis and will consult with others on the cancer center team to develop a personalized treatment plan for you.

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Your Gynecologic Cancer Care Team

Compass Oncology's cancer care team includes gynecologic oncologists, who are also surgeons specializing in the needs of uterine cancer patients in Portland, Tigard, OR, and Vancouver, WA. In addition to a gynecologic oncologist, your care team may include several other medical professionals, including:

Radiation Oncologist
This type of physician is included in the treatment planning process when radiation therapy will be used to treat the cancer before and/or after surgery.
Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)
A physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP) may work with your oncologist to assist with ensuring your treatment plan is being executed as it should. They can answer questions and help you with finding resources you may need.
Infusion Nurses
This type of nurse is in the infusion room and helps deliver medications, like chemotherapy, through an IV line or an access port.
Radiation Technicians/Therapists
They help position you for radiation treatments so that the radiation is delivered in the same place during every session.
Genetic Counselor
As more research is being done all the time, it’s become known that some endometrial cancers could be related to an inherited BRCA gene mutation. A genetic counselor can help you determine if testing is right for you.
They can help you choose foods that are good for you (that you also enjoy eating) so your body can get the nutrients it needs during cancer treatment.
Our cancer centers are filled with other helpful team members who can assist with addressing side effects, financial resources, mental and emotional support, and assistance for your family during your cancer journey.
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Free Guide for Newly Diagnosed Gynecologic Cancer Patients

Get helpful tips from our team on what to expect and how to prepare your mind and body for gynecologic cancer treatment. 

We hope this guide will make your path to endometrial cancer treatment a bit smoother.

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What is the Extent of My Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer stages are typically expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV — with stage 0 representing contained, non-invasive cancers and stage IV representing cancers that have spread. The results of the biopsy and the images taken will allow your oncologist to determine the extent of your uterine cancer.

Read more about uterine cancer staging.

Which Uterine Cancer Treatments Will I Receive?

Patients at Compass Oncology receive a personalized treatment plan based on different factors, including the type, stage of the cancer, menopausal status, and age. The gynecologic cancer specialists will evaluate your situation with the other care team members to recommend how to go forward. Here are some of the most common uterine cancer treatments. 

Surgery for Gynecologic Cancers

There are several factors that the surgeon will discuss with you to determine which surgery method should be used if surgery is needed. From preparation to recovery, we strive to find the least invasive approach that works best for you.

Radiation Therapy for Uterine Cancer

Radiation therapy can be given internally, externally, or both for endometrial cancer. It’s often used after surgery to be sure all of the cancer cells have been killed in the area where the tumor was removed.

Medical Oncology Treatments for Uterine Cancer

Several other treatments for endometrial cancer can be used, especially if it has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs in the body. These might include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Should You Consider a Uterine Cancer Clinical Trial?

Compass Oncology’s cancer specialists participate in uterine cancer research in hopes of being able to find and provide new treatments to patients. Research trials are now available at all of our locations throughout the Portland-Vancouver area. Talk to your endometrial cancer specialist to find out if a clinical trial is right for you.

Preparing for Your First Gynecologic Oncology Appointment

At your first oncology appointment, you will receive a lot of information in a short period of time. Our care team has gathered some helpful tips on how you can remember what you're told and keep track of questions you'd like to ask your gynecologic cancer specialist.

Keep a Notebook

We suggest getting a notebook to help stay organized and keep a record of important information. Take note of things such as how you’re feeling, medicines or supplements you’re taking, and any questions, thoughts, or observations you have regarding appointments and procedures. Try to put a date on everything you log down.

If a method other than paper works better for you, then commit to using it regularly. Having information written down (and on hand) can help keep the lines of communication open between you and your doctors.

Questions to Ask Your Specialist

  • What type of surgery is recommended for me?
  • How long will my recovery time be?
  • Will there need to be any other treatments? If yes, what would they be?
  • How long after surgery will my other treatments start?
  • Will I receive any treatments before surgery?
  • Will I need hormone replacement therapy after surgery?
  • If I will have any IV therapies, will I need a port inserted? Where will it go?
  • What kind of side effects should I expect from the treatments?
  • How often will I receive treatments?
  • Am I a candidate for genetic testing to see if there is a hereditary connection?
  • Will there be other physicians involved in my care? If so, what types?
  • Will I be able to have sex after treatment is complete?
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Should I Get a Second Opinion?

Feeling confident about your endometrial cancer diagnosis is extremely important, which is why many patients choose to get a second opinion before beginning a specific treatment plan. At Compass Oncology, our physicians provide many second opinions on both endometrial cancer diagnosis and treatment options. Many insurance companies will cover a second opinion assessment, but it is still a good idea to contact your insurance provider for verification of coverage.

Watch the video below to learn about the importance of a second opinion for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The oncologists at Compass Oncology are available to discuss test results, cancer diagnosis, and treatment options.

Resources for Uterine Cancer Patients: You're Not Alone

Through this difficult time, the cancer specialists at Compass Oncology are here to help you every step of the way. We provide each patient with a binder containing more helpful tips and what to expect during your gynecologic cancer journey. Various community resources may help you too.

After Gynecologic Cancer Treatment

Following gynecologic cancer treatment, your doctors will want to monitor you closely. It’s very important to go to all of your follow-up appointments. These visits give your doctor an opportunity to address your questions and concerns, look for treatment-related side effects, and discuss other follow-up treatments that may be necessary.

Gynecologic Cancer Specialists Caring for Patients
in Portland-Vancouver

We provide the latest uterine cancer treatments to patients at all of our cancer centers in the region. Choose one that's convenient for you to request a consultation. 

East Office

5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 256, Portland, OR 97213 Near Providence Hospital

Rose Quarter Cancer Center

265 N Broadway
Portland, OR 97227

Vancouver Cancer Center

210 SE 136th Avenue,
Vancouver, WA 98684

West Cancer Center

12123 SW 69th Avenue,
Tigard, OR 97223

Download the Guide for Women Diagnosed with Gynecologic Cancer