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Recurrent womb cancer - why can't it be cured?

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My mum just found out this week that her cancer has returned. It was initially in her womb and she had a hysterectomy, brachytherapy and chemotherapy. It is now in her pelvis and lower abdomen. My question is, why is the doctor saying 'it can't be cured?' If last time they were able to try curative measures. She is saying that they can now only slow down the growth. Thank you.

Steph - Macmillan
Posted by

Hello @wanderer64

Thank you so much for your question and I am sorry that we haven’t yet been able to respond.

Although we’ve had to close the session for new questions, our nurses will be posting a response to any existing questions as soon as they possibly can. We really appreciate your patience at this extremely busy time and hope you’re ok.

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In case it’s useful, we have information about Coronavirus on our website. For more information, including what to do if you have symptoms and how to reduce the risk of infection, please visit the NHS website.

Thank you for being part of the Community.

Take care,

Online Community Officer
Elise - Macmillan
Posted by

Hello wanderer64,

Thank you for getting in touch and welcome to our Online Community.

This must be a really worrying time for you and it’s understandable that you have questions around your mum’s cancer and what the doctors are telling you.

When a womb cancer returns after initial treatment doctors will refer to this as recurrent cancer .

Unfortunately womb cancer can come back and at this stage it is regarded as incurable because it has spread outside the original site.

 The aim of any treatment is not to completely eradicate the cancer but to control the disease for as long as possible.

For most women, this treatment would include chemotherapy, but I can see from your discussion in the breast cancer group that due to coronavirus you mum will start hormone treatment.

This will have been a difficult decision for your mum’s doctor, balancing the risks of the side effects of chemotherapy and the current risk of contracting coronavirus against the benefits of maybe slowing the cancer down.

Hormone therapy is also a recognised treatment for recurrent womb cancer.

Trying to cope with your own emotions when supporting you mum can be overwhelming. I hope you’re taking some time for yourself (easier said than done I know)

Please call the support line if you think it would be helpful to talk things through.

There’s also this useful information for you and your mum about looking after your mental health during the coronavirus crisis.

Best wishes and take care,

Cancer Information Nurse Specialist