EBSCO Health

Print PageSend to a Friend
Health Library Home>Conditions InDepth>Article

Hormonal Therapy for Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer

Hormones are chemical signals that help the body work well. They can also make certain cancers grow faster and spread farther. Hormonal therapy is used in cancer treatment to control cancer growth.

Hormonal therapy is often used to treat some advanced uterine cancer. Common therapies include:

  • Progestin—to counter the effects of estrogen
  • Tamoxifen—to block the effects of estrogen
  • Aromatase inhibitors—to block the production of estrogen
  • Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists—to lower estrogen levels by blocking the hormonal effects of the ovaries

Common side effects include:

  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fluid retention
  • Increasing appetite
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Increasing depression
  • Bone thinning, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis
  • Blood clots

Treatments can help manage side effects. Medicine, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments have all shown to be helpful.


Endometrial cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113952/Endometrial-cancer. Updated May 24, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017.

Endometrial cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/gynecologic-tumors/endometrial-cancer. Updated March 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017.

Endometrial cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometrial-Cancer. Updated June 2016. Accessed December 13, 2017.

Hormone therapy for endometrial cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrial-cancer/treating/hormone-therapy.html. Updated November 20, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/uterine/patient/endometrial-treatment-pdq#section/_131. Updated October 13, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017.

Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 12/13/2017