Hormone treatment

Some cancers of the uterus depend on hormones to grow. Ovaries are removed during surgery for two reasons:

  • because the cancer may have spread to the ovaries

  • because they produce oestrogen, which may help the cancer to grow.

Tissue removed during your operation will be tested to see if your cancer can be treated by hormones. Drugs such as provera block the body’s use of oestrogen. Provera is a form of the female hormone progesterone. Tamoxifen, an anti-oestrogen drug, is also used.

Hormone treatment can work very well for advanced or recurrent cancer of the uterus. It can also be used to treat early stage cancer of the uterus if other medical problems prevent surgery or radiation treatment. Hormone treatment is taken as a pill.

Side effects of hormone treatment

Side effects of provera include breast tenderness, nausea and fluid retention. In high doses, it may increase your appetite and cause some weight gain. Tamoxifen can cause side effects, such as hot flushes, headaches and fluid retention.

You may have some or none of these side effects. Discuss any problems or concerns with your doctors.

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