Although most women are older and postmenopausal when they are diagnosed with uterine cancer, it does occasionally affect younger women who have not yet been through menopause. If premenopausal women have surgery or radiation therapy for uterine cancer, they will be unable to have children.
If you may want to have children in future, it is important to talk to your doctor before your treatment starts. It may be possible to preserve the ovaries and sometimes the uterus so you can still have children. However, this is not standard treatment and is an option only in certain cases. If it is an option for you, your doctor will explain the risks and benefits.
Learning that your reproductive organs will be removed or will no longer function and that you won’t be able to have children can be devastating. Even if your family is complete or you did not want children, you may still experience a sense of loss and grief. These reactions are not unusual.
Speaking to a counsellor or an oncology nurse about your feelings and individual situation can be helpful. You can also call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to talk to a health professional about your concerns.
For more on this, see Fertility and cancer.
A/Prof Alison Brand, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Prof Jonathan Carter, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Robyn Cheuk, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Dr Alison Davis, Medical Oncologist, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, The Canberra Hospital, ACT; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Nicole Kinnane, Nurse Coordinator, Gynaecology Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Jennifer Loveridge, Consumer; Pauline Tanner, Gynaecology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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