Recovery after treatment of uterine cancer may take some time. You will find that there are physical and emotional changes. It is important that you and the people around you (including your partner, employer and family members) are ready for these changes.
Recovery and follow-up after treatment of uterine cancer are different for everyone and depend on many factors. But, in any case, it takes time to recover from various types of treatment: there are often physical and emotional changes that can interfere with life. You may need to talk to your employer about how the treatment may affect your work, and with your family about the support you need.
You will need regular medical examinations, which will include tests and examinations after the end of treatment. In addition to checking that your cancer has not returned, follow-up visits to the doctor may be required due to the physical changes that may occur as a result of the cancer and its treatment.
Examinations will still be necessary, even if you have not had any signs of cancer for several years. For family and friends, your cancer may be a thing of the past, but systematic examinations can make you feel very worried. Finding ways to support yourself and take care of yourself when undergoing an examination is part of the life of people who have overcome cancer.
Many women believe that fatigue is a serious problem. This is usually especially problematic if you have undergone radiation therapy and other serious types of treatment. Trips to the hospital and clinics for treatment and diagnosis are also very tedious. If you work during treatment or if you have a home and family to take care of, you will almost certainly be very tired.
Your fatigue can last for quite a long time, even after the end of treatment. Some women believe that it takes them one or two years to feel really good again. Talking to your family and friends about how you are feeling can help, and it’s also worth discussing how they can help you. You may need to plan your activities during the day so that you can rest regularly.
Women who have undergone menopause as a result of cancer treatment need to adapt to the changes in the body that have occurred due to the cessation of the production of various hormones. < strong>Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) can help reduce the symptoms of menopause. The use of HRT for more than five years increases the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. However, HRT also reduces the risk of some other diseases, including cancer. You will need to discuss with your oncologist what benefits and risks HRT has for you. If you have already undergone HRT when your cancer was diagnosed, you will need to weigh the risks associated with continuing this therapy.
Bladder control may change after cancer treatment or surgery. Some women are forced to go to the toilet more often. Others have to hurry, and sometimes they do not have time in time. Others notice that they pass urine when they cough or sneeze. Although these problems may improve, even a slight loss of bladder control can be a concern. Experienced urologists will help you with bladder problems.
After surgery or cancer treatment, a number of women have < strong>intestinal problems. Some women find that they are constipated or suffer from diarrhea or abdominal pain. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or dietitian about your symptoms. Simple treatment methods that they will advise you can help you. Some women may need to change their diet or take medications.
Lymphedema is a swelling of a part of the body, usually the legs or arms. Lymphedema can occur after treatment for uterine cancer if you have removed the lymph nodes in the abdominal cavity (lymphadenectomy). Removing the nodes can prevent the passage of lymphatic fluid from the legs. As a result, fluid can accumulate in one or both legs, causing swelling. This usually occurs only some time after treatment.
It is impossible to predict whether you will have problems with lymphedema. If you already have such problems, seek help immediately, as it needs to be treated at an early stage. Consult your specialist or nurse for advice. After the operation, you may be given special stockings that will help prevent lymphedema.
Some hospitals have specialist physiotherapists who can advise you on how to reduce the risk of lymphedema.
When you are first told that you have cancer, you may experience a number of emotions, such as fear, sadness, depression, anger or disappointment. The feelings may continue during your treatment and after it. It will be useful for you to talk about your feelings with your partner, family members or friends, or with a consultant at the hospital, a social worker, a psychologist or a priest.
A serious illness can cause practical and financial problems. You don’t have to fight it alone. In addition to providing emotional support, a social worker can assess what practical and social assistance you, your family or caregivers may need. They can also arrange assistance from various sources.
A healthy diet can help you cope with cancer and any side effects of treatment as best as possible. Depending on the type of treatment, you may have special dietary needs. A nutritionist can help you identify the best foods in your situation – those that you like, they are easy to eat and they are useful for you.
It may be useful for you to stay active and exercise regularly, if you can. Exercise can help with fatigue. The amount and type of exercise depends on what you are used to and how well you feel. Talk to your doctor about what might be best for you.
Some people believe that yoga or meditation helps them feel better. A social worker, nurse, or doctor should know if the hospital has any programs, or can advise you about programs in your area.
Cancer treatment and the emotional consequences of cancer can affect patients and their partners in different ways. Some people may “go limp” because of a sense of inability to cope with the consequences of treatment. Others may feel an increased need for sexual and intimate contact to calm down.
It is important to talk about your feelings with your partner. If you have any problems with your sex life, discuss it with your doctor or with a qualified consultant. Your partner may also need support.
If you don’t have a partner, you can start to seriously worry about it. It may be useful for you to talk about this with a close friend, family member, social worker or call the helpline.
After you have been examined after the operation and have completed a rehabilitation course , you will be able to resume sexual intercourse if you want. It may take some time before you feel physically and emotionally healthy for sexual contact.
If you have had internal radiation therapy, you may find that your vagina has changed and shrunk, and it may also become dry. Talk to your doctor about this. A lubricating cream that can be bought in pharmacies or supermarkets can be useful when dryness is a problem, you can also experiment with poses. If you are undergoing external radiation therapy, you can usually continue sexual intercourse as long as it is convenient and you like it. Be guided by your feelings.