Post endometrial cancer worries

  • Hello,I hope I am not misusing your time,
  • i had a radical hysterectomy (keyhole)in August 2021 following a diagnosis of grade 3 cancer.I had ten lymph nodes removed and tissue examined and I was very relieved to be told it was Stage 1a.I have hip pain and lower lumber pain but it is improving.I do have access to a McMillan nurse via Salisbury hospital who was lovely and told me if I experienced any p.v bleeding I could ring immediately.I feel fraudulent to ring her again as she is so busy and I am not bleeding over-but I am worried that there may be other symptoms I need to be watchful for.
  • Are you able to tell me if I need to be mindful of other signs of recurrent cancer-or if I need to ask for any formal follow up? My nurse said I could ring for up to 5 years after treatment,is this a number of years for any reason? Ie increased likelihood of cancer returning? 
    I am 48 years old and also have gone into early menopause-I am not on any HRT but should I ask for a mammogram before it’s due? I think I am anxious about being so lucky to be treated and considered clear of cancer that I am going to have it again without realizing.
  • I am on Effexor and Quetiapine (since 2008) for psychotic depression (in remission) -have you any knowledge of an increased risk of cancer with these medications as I have asked my GP who did not know.I no longer have a psychiatric link worker to ask and I thought you may have more specialized experience.
  • With kind regards
  • Mandy
  • Dear Mandy,

    Welcome to the online community. My name is Penelope and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists. I am so glad that you were able to get in touch with us. It is completely ok to have lots of questions and it is important that you get the answers you need.

    We would always suggest that you speak to someone involved in your care such as your GP or the Macmillan nurse at the hospital about any new, worsening, changing or persistent symptoms that you have. It certainly would not be fraudulent to ring your Macmillan nurse to report any concerns. You could also ask what further follow up appointments to expect. Cancer Research UK has some information on follow up after treatment for womb cancer (endometrial cancer). Initially there may be regular check-ups that will reduce in frequency over time. It is not uncommon for people who have been treated for cancer to have follow ups for a 5-year period. The significance of this would be different for each individual so please do ask your consultant or Macmillan Nurse for more information relevant to you. Symptoms to look out for include bleeding from the vagina or back passage, pain in the pelvic area and any lumps or swellings.

    The NHS breast screening programme starts between the ages of 50-53. Your consultant or Macmillan nurse will be able to tell you if they feel that earlier screening would be necessary. Regardless of any previous cancer diagnosis it is recommended for everyone to regularly check their breasts and get to know what is normal for them.

    Most cancers cannot be related to a specific cause such as a medication for example. I have looked up the medications that you mentioned and can find no information about possibly causing cancer in their side effects. If you would like further information about your medication you may find it helpful to speak to a Boots Macmillan Pharmacist.

    From your post I can see that you don’t like to bother people with concerns about your health. The time after treatment, however, when adapting to changes in your health is often a time when people find that they need a little more support. This is completely normal.

    Coping with a cancer diagnosis can be challenging for anyone and if you have had previous mental ill health it is particularly important to look after your emotional wellbeing. If you feel you are worrying a lot about your health, then do speak to your GP or Macmillan nurse about accessing additional support and advice if needed. Even though your cancer treatment may have ended, it does not mean that you can’t get help to manage these fears or worries you are having.

    After cancer treatment it can take time to recover emotionally and physically. Sometimes people feel and see life differently and it can be difficult to adapt to these changes.   

    Mission remission is a helpful site for people managing life after cancer treatment. We also have an online community group life after cancer that may offer you support, friendship and advice from others going through a similar experience. Many people find this kind of support invaluable.

    Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you need to or give us a call on the Macmillan Support Line if you would like to talk things through further.   

     

    Best wishes

     

    Penelope, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email. 

    Ref/ FM