After treatment for uterine cancer ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years.
In addition to a physical examination, follow-up care may include pelvic examinations, blood tests, yearly Pap tests, and x-rays. These tests may be done more frequently in the first and second year after treatment. Tell your doctor about any new symptoms, especially a loss of appetite, bladder or bowel changes, pain, vaginal bleeding, or weight changes. These symptoms may be signs that the cancer has come back or signs of another medical condition.
But you may still be coping with the side effects of treatment and also with some difficult emotions. Recovery takes time, so try not to be hard on yourself. It’s not unusual to feel anxious and even a bit isolated at this time.
People often worry about the cancer coming back and that any ache or pain is a sign that it has returned. It’s important to talk over any concerns or questions that you have with your cancer doctor, specialist nurse or GP - you don’t need to wait until your follow-up appointments.
After uterine cancer treatment, some women choose to make positive lifestyle changes. Even if you had a healthy lifestlye before being diagnosed with cancer, you may now be more focused on making the most of your health.
If you feel you need to lose weight when you’re feeling up to it, ask your GP for advice and what your ideal weight is.
There’s some evidence that keeping to a healthy weight after the menopause may help reduce the risk of womb cancer coming back. It also reduces the risk of some other cancers, heart problems and other illnesses, such as diabetes.
Here are some tips to help you lose weight:
Eating healthily will give you more energy and help you recover. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (five portions a day), cut down on red meat and eat more chicken and fish.
Being physically active helps keep your weight healthy, reduce stress and tiredness, and the risk of other health conditions. There’s some evidence that taking regular physical activity may help to reduce the risk of womb cancer coming back, and of getting some other cancers. It also reduces the risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis) in women who had an early menopause.
If you’re a smoker, giving up is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Smoking is a major risk factor for some cancers and heart disease.
Reducing Lymphoedema Risk
There are things you can do to reduce your lymphoedema risk. This mainly involves protecting the skin on your legs and feet. Infection can trigger lymphoedema, so it’s important to avoid damage to the skin. If you get swelling in your foot or leg, always get it checked by your doctor or nurse.
What you can do
It’s common to feel a range of emotions after cancer treatment. But as you recover and get back to your everyday life, these usually get easier to deal with. Talking to family and friends often helps. If these feelings don’t improve and you feel depressed, helpless or worried, let your doctor or nurse know.