Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given as an injection, through a tube, or by mouth. The drugs enter the blood and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells, but also some healthy cells. For uterine cancer, it is often used after surgery. It may also be used if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It may be given with radiation therapy to help it work better.
There are many types of these drugs. The ones used for uterine cancer are:
The death of cancer cells and healthy cells can cause side effects. Problems may be:
Side effects can be managed with medicines, healthy habits, and alternative treatments.
Chemotherapy for endometrial cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrial-cancer/treating/chemotherapy.html. Updated March 27, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Endometrial cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometrial-Cancer. Updated February 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Endometrial cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/endometrial-cancer. Updated October 21, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Endometrial cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Updated February 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Renaud MC, Le T, et al. Epidemiology and investigations for suspected endometrial cancer. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2018 Sep;40(9):e703.
Toxicities of chemotherapeutic agents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-review/toxicities-of-chemotherapeutic-agents. Updated September 16, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/uterine/patient/endometrial-treatment-pdq#section/_131. Updated June 12, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Elliot M. Levine, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 1/26/2021