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Stages and treatment of endometrial cancer

Treatment for endometrial cancer depends on the of the cancer. Treatment often includes a combination of surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. People with advanced cancers ( 3 or 4) may also benefit from or . Clinical trials may be available for any of cancer.

Stages of cancer

The  of a cancer refers to whether it has spread beyond the uterus, and if it has, the location in the body where it has spread. Measuring the of endometrial cancer helps doctors decide how to treat it. 

Doctors may order additional tests such as chest XRAYS, chest, pelvic and abdominal CT,  or PET scans to learn if the cancer has spread beyond the uterus. 

Types of treatment

Most endometrial cancer is treated with a combination of one or more of the following treatments:


 During surgery, the uterus and cervix (hysterectomy), and often both ovaries and (salpingo-oophorectomy) are removed. Surgery may also include removal of to check for cancer cells. Sparing the ovaries may be safe for some I, premenopausal patients.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses powerful energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy to reduce your risk of endometrial cancer coming back after surgery (also known as recurrence). Sometimes, radiation therapy is recommended before surgery or instead of surgery. There are two types of radiation therapies used to treat endometrial cancer:

  • External beam radiation is delived from a machine outside your body. During external beam radiation, patients lie on a table while a machine directs radiation to specific points on the body.
  • Internal radiation (brachytherapy) involves placing radiation in smalll seeds, wires or a cylinder inside the vagina for a short period of time.


Treatment for endometrial cancer usually includes a combination of chemotherapy drugs. The most common chemotherapy agents used to treat endometrial cancer include:

  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel (Taxol) 

These two agents are often used together. In some cases, a  known as Herceptin (trastuzumab) may be added. These medications are typically given through the IV or a port as an outpatient.  

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy used to treat endometrial cancer includes:

  • Oral progesterone
  • Intrauterine device that releases progesterone
  • Tamoxifen
  • Megestrol acetate

Treatment for 1 endometrial cancer

For patients with I endometrial cancer, treament usually includes:

  • Surgery: during surgery, the uterus and cervix, and often both ovaries and  are removed. Surgery may also include removal of to check for cancer cells. Sparing the ovaries may be safe for some premenopausal patients.
  • Radiation or chemotherapy: after surgery, some patients may be recommended to undergo additional treatment with radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Hormone therapy may be given to patients who have additional medical problems which prevent surgery.

Treatment for 2 endometrial cancer

For patients with II endometrial cancer, treatment typically includes:

  • Surgery: during surgery, the uterus and cervix, and both ovaries and  are removed. Surgery often includes removal of
  • Radiation: after surgery, most patients will need radiation.
  • Chemotherapy may be given to some patients 

Treatment for 3 and 4 endometrial cancer

  • Surgery may be performed first to remove the uterus and cervix (hysterectomy), and ovaries (salpingo-oophorectomy), and . However, in some cases, the cancer cannot be removed with surgery.
  • Chemotherapy will be given to most patients.
  • Radiation may have benefit for some patients with advanced cancer. 
  • Tumor testing can help guide decisions about  and
Last updated January 23, 2022

Get Support
Get Support

The following organizations offer peer support services for people with or at high risk for endometrial cancer:

updated: 08/28/2022

Paying For Care
Paying For Care

Paying for cancer treatment

The majority of public and private health insurance plans are required to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment; copays, coinsurance and deductibles often apply. Patient costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments may vary based on your health plan. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Treatment  for more information, links to sample appeal letters and other resources. 

If you need information about finding an insurance plan, watch our video: Choosing Wisely: How to Pick Insurance Plans.

Some pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs that help cover the cost for their medications: 

Organizations that offer co-pay assistance:

Other resources:

  • The American Cancer Society provides information and resources on covering the cost of cancer care. Public assistance, such as Medicaid may be available if you are ineligible for other programs. 
  • Needy Meds: Assistance programs to help patients with cost of medications and other healthcare.
  • Triage Cancer offers tools and resources to help individuals cope with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

updated: 02/10/2023