After treatment for womb cancer (endometrial cancer)
After treatment, you’ll probably be keen to get back to doing the things you did before your cancer diagnosis.
But you may still be coping with the side effects of treatment and also with some difficult emotions. Recovery takes time, so try not to be hard on yourself. It’s not unusual to feel anxious and even a bit isolated at this time.
People often worry about the cancer coming back and that any ache or pain is a sign that it has returned. It’s important to talk over any concerns or questions that you have with your cancer doctor, specialist nurse or GP - you don’t need to wait until your follow-up appointments.
Our section called life after cancer treatment discusses how to cope after treatment.
In this section we discuss some of the problems people face after treatment and things that can be done to help.
After womb cancer treatment, some women choose to make positive lifestyle changes. Even if you had a healthy lifestlye before being diagnosed with cancer, you may now be more focused on making the most of your health.
Keep to a healthy weight
If you feel you need to lose weight when you’re feeling up to it, ask your GP for advice and what your ideal weight is.
Our section on weight management after cancer treatment has some helpful tips.
There’s some evidence that keeping to a healthy weight after the menopause may help reduce the risk of womb cancer coming back. It also reduces the risk of some other cancers, heart problems and other illnesses, such as diabetes.
Here are some tips to help you lose weight:
only eat as much food as you need
eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables
eat less fat and sugar
become more physically active.
Eating healthily will give you more energy and help you recover. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (five portions a day), cut down on red meat and eat more chicken and fish.
There’s more information in our section on healthy eating and cancer.
Get physically active
Being physically active helps keep your weight healthy, reduce stress and tiredness, and the risk of other health conditions. There’s some evidence that taking regular physical activity may help to reduce the risk of womb cancer coming back, and of getting some other cancers. It also reduces the risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis) in women who had an early menopause.
Your GP or cancer specialist may be able to refer you to special exercise groups run by exercise trainers.
Stop smoking and drink sensibly
If you’re a smoker, giving up is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Smoking is a major risk factor for some cancers and heart disease.
It’s a good idea to stick to sensible drinking guidelines, which recommend that women drink fewer than two units of alcohol a day or fewer than 14 a week.
Reducing lymphoedema risk
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There are things you can do to reduce your lymphoedema risk. This mainly involves protecting the skin on your legs and feet. Infection can trigger lymphoedema, so it’s important to avoid damage to the skin. If you get swelling in your foot or leg, always get it checked by your doctor or nurse.
What you can do
Keep the skin clean and use moisturisers to keep it supple.
Clean grazes or cuts straight away and see your GP if the area gets red, hot or swollen.
Use an electric razor if you want to shave your legs.
Wear well-fitting shoes and use nail clippers instead of scissors to cut your toenails.
Cover up or use a high factor suncream (SPF 30+) on sunny days.
Keep to a healthy weight.
Keep physically active and avoid standing for too long in one position.
Our section on lymphoedema has more detailed information.
It’s common to feel a range of emotions after cancer treatment. But as you recover and get back to your everyday life, these usually get easier to deal with. Talking to family and friends often helps. If these feelings don’t improve and you feel depressed, helpless or worried, let your doctor or nurse know. Your hospital consultant or GP can refer you to a psychologist or counsellor who specialises in helping people with cancer. Our cancer support specialists can tell you more about counselling and about services in your area.
There may be support groups in your area where you can talk to people in a similar situation. Or you may like to join an online community to get and give advice and support based on your experience. You can talk to other people affected by cancer in our online community.