Uterine Cancer: Survival Rates and Prognosis
It is a life-changing moment when you’re told you have cancer. Many questions run through your mind, including what type of treatment is available and what your prognosis is. While only your doctor can tell you about your specific situation, this article discusses average uterine cancer survival rates and prognosis. The details here will give you the information you need to ask your own doctor questions about your treatment.
Uterine Cancer Survival Rate
As with most cancers, the uterine cancer survival rate depends on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed. In general, the earlier the stage at diagnosis, the better the chances are of beating the disease. Keep in mind, the survival rate is a statistic based on data from past cases of uterine cancer. It does not reflect current diagnoses and current treatments. It also does not specify whether the patient was totally cancer free after treatment or received long-term treatment to keep the cancer from progressing.
Cancer specialists look at five-year survival rates to help give their patients a prognosis. The higher the percentage, the better: A 70% survival rate, for example means 70% (7 out of 10) of women diagnosed with uterine cancer live at least five years after the time they were diagnosed.
The overall survival rate for uterine cancer is 65% after five years. That means that five years after diagnosis, 65% of the women are alive. Uterine cancer diagnosed in stage I or II has a five-year survival rate of 70 to 95%. Women diagnosed with stage III or IV uterine cancer have between 10% and 60% five-year survival rate. These women have uterine cancer with metastasis—meaning the cancer has spread. The survival rate is low because cancer that has spread to other organs is more difficult to treat than cancer that remains in the uterus.
Uterine Cancer Prognosis
Going through uterine cancer treatment is challenging mentally, emotionally and physically. A woman’s age, her physical and mental health, and the type and stage of cancer affect prognosis. Younger women tend to have better survival rates. Your oncologist can discuss your uterine cancer prognosis based on your specific circumstances.
Women who are undergoing treatment for uterine cancer are encouraged to stay as healthy as possible. That includes eating well, exercising if/when possible, and avoiding infections. If your treatment is preventing you from eating well or being physically active (even for a few minutes each day), tell your doctor or a member of your cancer team. They may be able to adjust your treatment or help in other ways.
Mental well-being is also important for prognosis and quality of life while undergoing and after cancer treatment. Share often your thoughts and concerns with friends or family. Also, your care team may know of a local or online uterine cancer support group. Sometimes, talking with people who are going through a similar experience can help us get through a difficult time or have hope for a good outcome.
Early Uterine Cancer Detection
The earlier uterine cancer is detected, the higher the chances of a full recovery. For this reason, it’s important that women who have a change in their menstrual periods (heavier, more irregular, breakthrough bleeding) or who have vaginal bleeding after menopause should see their doctor for testing.