Stage 1B, adjuvant therapy?

Hello all. My mother has just (as of ten minutes ago) been taken off to hospital for a hysterectomy to treat probable Stage 1B endometrial cancer. The operation should be sometime tomorrow.

I just wanted to ask the group, how common is it for patients at Stage 1B to require adjuvant treatment? We would, of course, prefer to avoid the cycle of radiotherapy and chemotherapy if at all possible. At the same time I realise individual cases are different.

Thank you.

  • Hi,

    I had Stage1 Grade1b and was not offered any further treatment I think it depends on the region you are in as to what is offered. 

  • Hi robeH,. First of all inhope that your mum's op goes well and that she has a good recovery.

    The question about adjuvant treatment is quite complex and there are set guidelines which are used to make decisions.  The grade of cancer means how different the cells are from normal.  Grade 1 is cells which are only slightly different to normal cells and are well differentiated.  This grade is the least aggressive.  Grade 2 is a little more aggressive, and so on.  The stage is the extent of spread.  Stage 1 means the cancer is contained inside the womb.

    I had grade 1 cancer and the stage was 1b because the cancer had gone more than halfway through the wall of the womb.  The two other factors which caused adjuvant therapy to be recommended was that my age was over 60 and there had been some invasion of the lymphatic space (LVSI).  If I'd been younger I wouldn't have had adjuvant therapy offered.

    As it was I had 5 weeks radiotherapy plus 3 sessions of brachytherapy.  It sounded very daunting at the time but I'm very glad now because innate the reassurance of knowing I did everything possible to prevent a recurrence.  

    The thing which I found most helpful was the support and love of friends and family and the reassurance and fellowship of the ladies in this group.  If your mum is offered adjuvant therapy you can do a lot to support and encourage her just by being there and offering lifts or practical help if you can.  Wishing you and your mum all the best xxx

  • Thank you for the response. My mother is 73 and has been diagnosed at stage 1B, so is probably similar to your case. How intensive was the radiotheraphy and brachytheraphy, may I ask?

  • If I may say so, younmay be jumping the gun a bit here.  Your mother may not need any further treatment.  

    However since you ask, the radiotherapy treatment was five days a week for five weeks.  The treatment only takes a few minutes each time and you can't feel a thing.  The machine doesn't touch you and there is no sensation of anything at all.  Travelling took more time than anything as the hospital was 30 miles away.  Most people experience bowel disturbance during the treatment but the hospital are ready to give tablets to deal with this.   I found that I became very tired during the last two weeks, in part due to the very hot weather and daily travelling as well as the treatment itself.  But I was perfectly well and comfortable enough to drive there and back every day although my brother and my partner also drove me sometimes to relieve the monotony!   

    I then had three sessions of brachytherapy, over three days,  which is internal radiotherapy.  It was given by an applicator which was rather like a large tampon.  Although slightly uncomfortable it only took a few minutes.  The staff were kind, gentle and explained everything to me.   

    Some people have a type of brachytherapy which involves longer sessions, but it does depend on what equipment is available at the particular hospital.

    I do hope my experiences give you some reassurance but remember everyone is different.  If further treatment is recommended for your mother, her oncologist should be willing to discuss and explain everything and answer all her and your questions.   I hope she is making a good recovery from her surgery and him sure having your support and love must be helping her.  Xxxx

  • Thank you, most helpful and reassuring.

  • Hi, can I ask , did this happen at The Christie ? I have just had a hysterectomy there for the same grade and have been wondering if they would be doing radiotherapy as this was implied as a "belt and braces" thing they like to do. Had keyhole surgery and physically couldn't be better but the mental torture of waiting for the histology results has been awful, not alone in this situation I suspect ! Appointment on 19th Dec, so not long to go now x.