Hormonal treatment for womb cancer

Hormones exist naturally in the body. They help control how cells grow and what they do in the body. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone can encourage cells in the womb lining to grow. Your cancer specialist may suggest hormonal therapy if you have advanced womb cancer, or if you have womb cancer that has come back.

The main treatment is progesterone. It may help to shrink the cancer and control symptoms. You’re likely to have it as a tablet, but sometimes it’s given as an injection by your GP or practice nurse. The most common types of progesterone are:

  • medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera®)
  • megestrol (Megace®).

Side effects

The main side effects of progesterone are:

  • an increase in your appetite
  • weight gain
  • fluid retention (for example swollen ankles)
  • feeling sick.

The side effects can be mild and you aren’t likely to get all of them. Let your doctor or nurse know if you are having troublesome side effects.