Treatment Programs

Uterine Cancer (Uterine Sarcoma)

The Center for Gynecologic Oncology provides compassionate care for patients with uterine cancer.

 

On this page you will find information to help you:

Information about Uterine Cancer (Uterine Sarcoma)

Learn More about this Condition
Cancer that begins in the muscle or supporting tissues of the uterus (womb) is called uterine cancer, or uterine sarcoma. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that about 1,600 new cases of uterine sarcoma would be diagnosed in the United States in 2015.

Please note: The information on this page refers specifically to uterine sarcoma.

Uterine Cancer Diagnosis
A diagnosis of uterine cancer may be made through tests and procedures including:

  • Medical history and physical examination
  • Internal pelvic exam
  • Transvaginal ultrasound (ultrasonography)
  • Biopsy

Uterine Cancer TreatmentTreatment for uterine cancer most commonly involves uterine cancer surgery. Options include:

  • Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, including the cervix. Advanced approaches to this procedure include:
    o Robotic-assisted hysterectomy
    o Laparoscopic hysterectomy (in which a narrow viewing tube is inserted through a small incision in the belly to remove the uterus)
  • Radical hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, including the cervix, and part of the vagina

Some women who have had uterine cancer surgery may need additional therapy, such as:

  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation beams to kill or shrink tumors while sparing healthy tissue
  • Chemotherapy kills cancer cells through the use of intravenous (IV) or oral drugs
  • Hormone therapy blocks the action of or stops the body from producing certain hormones that can cause cancer cells to grow
  • Clinical trials may provide access to new and promising therapies for uterine cancer 

Learn more about uterine cancer on our patient education page.

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Our Uterine Team

Your personalized treatment plan will be developed by experts from an array of gynecologic cancer specialties. Depending on the stage and other characteristics of your cancer, this treatment plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these therapies.

The specialists involved in your care may include:

  • Medical Oncologists to prescribe the most effective chemotherapy treatments and discuss available clinical trials
  • Radiation Oncologists who specialize in delivering the highest therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
  • Surgical Oncologists experienced in the latest minimally-invasive gynecologic surgery approaches
  • Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
  • Pathologists specializing in gynecologic cancers who provide a precise diagnosis of your cancer
  • Radiologists specializing in gynecologic malignancies that help guide the selection of appropriate imaging tests and provide accurate interpretation
  • Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual aspects of the cancer experience
  • A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment
  • Palliative care providers to improve quality of life

 

Don S. Dizon, MD

See the Complete Team List

Don S. Dizon, MD
Co-Clinical Director, Gynecologic Oncology Program

 

 

 

  

Marcela G. del Carmen, MD, MPHMarcela G. del Carmen, MD, MPH
Co-Clinical Director, Gynecologic Oncology Program

 

 

 

 

See the complete team list treating Uterine Cancer 

 

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Our Approach

Uterine Treatment Program
Patients at our Center for Gynecologic Oncology are treated by gynecologic cancer specialists experienced in local and advanced uterine cancer. We offer expert care for women with:
  • Leiomyosarcoma (cancer that begins in smooth muscle cells)
  • Mixed mullerian tumors (carcinosarcoma)
  • Endometrial stromal sarcoma (cancer that begins in connective tissue cells)
  • Adenosarcomas
Innovative Approaches
Among the innovative approaches offered here are:
  • Highly coordinated care by a team of gynecologic cancer specialists
  • Access to new therapies through clinical trials
  • Robotic-assisted and minimally invasive surgeries
  • Advanced radiation therapy techniques, including technologies offered at only a few other centers nationwide

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging Cancers
Our pathologists are sub-specialized in identifying gynecologic cancers. This expertise leads to more accurate diagnosis and staging, which forms the basis for your treatment.

Our gynecologic cancer pathologists are internationally recognized and consulted on the diagnosis of uterine cancer. They participate in weekly tumor board meetings, sharing information about each patient’s unique cancer with the entire treatment team to help guide care planning.

Our skilled radiologists employ all the most advanced imaging methods and perform image-guided interventional procedures such as CT-guided biopsy. 

Advancing Care by Improving Medicine
Based on your overall health and the stage and other characteristics of your cancer, your medical oncologist may recommend traditional or novel approaches to chemotherapy such as:

  • Therapies for drug-resistant tumors that help boost sensitivity to chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapies

Because we have a high number of patients using these approaches, we are familiar with medical, lifestyle, and complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, for minimizing side effects.

Excellence in Surgical Care
We treat thousands of patients each year and are a recognized leader in gynecologic cancer surgery, in both rare and common cancers.  Studies show that high-volume experience results in improved patient outcomes.  We offer the latest surgical innovations with emphasis on minimally invasive procedures.

Pioneering Radiation Therapies
We offer a full spectrum of radiation therapy treatments including some approaches available at just a few other medical centers in the U.S. Depending on the type and stage of your disease, your treatment may include:

  • Proton beam therapy
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy
  • Concurrent chemotherapy and radiation
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy
  • Outpatient high-dose rate brachytherapy
  • Exceptional precision to minimize the impact of treatment on sexual and hormonal functions

Learn more about radiation therapy.

 

Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new and different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of breast cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.

Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Gynecologic Oncology also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.

Click below to find listings of our current clinical trials.

Find Clinical Trials for this Condition

The Cancer Center also offers the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program, which strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation. Click here to find out more about this program.

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Contact Us
If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our doctors, please call the Center for Gynecologic Oncology at (617) 724-4800.

 

 

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Uterine Cancer

Cancers that occur in each part of the uterus have their own names, such as cervical cancer or endometrial cancer, but are sometimes broadly defined as uterine cancer because the structure is part of the uterus.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

Cancer Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5130

Discover the Cancer Center patient experience

Our approach to patient care unites cancer specialists across the hospital to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, ensuring the best possible outcomes.