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About This Resource

At the end of treatment many people expect to be ready to go back to ‘normal’, to life as it was before cancer. However, the end of treatment is not a clean break from the effects cancer had and continues to have on you, your family and friends. You may have expected to feel relief at the end of treatment and are surprised at having other intense emotions like sadness, anger, shock, etc. You may not feel well as a result of side effects from your treatment, and may fear that your cancer will come back (cancer recurrence). You may be overwhelmed knowing that some side effects and health risks may surface years from now. These are common feelings of finishing treatment.

This resource can help endometrial cancer survivors and their families know what to expect after treatment, what actions they can take to manage late side effects and health risks, and what they can do to help get their lives back on track.

Recurrence
  • Many cancer survivors find living with the fear of recurrence challenging. Knowing what to expect from your health care team and also what you can do may help.
Ongoing & late side effects
  • Find ways to manage side effects you may have now, and learn about which side effects you may have later.
Emotional well-being
  • The emotions brought on by cancer can be intense. Finding a way of understanding and dealing with these emotions is an important part of long-term emotional recovery and wellness.
Overall health
  • Exercise and eating well help in many ways - giving you more energy, reducing the impact of treatment side-effects, improving your day-to-day functioning and quality of life.

For medical issues, call the Gynecologic Oncology Triage Nurse line: 416 946 2220​


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Recurrence

Many cancer survivors find living with the fear of recurrence challenging. Knowing what to expect from your health care team and also what you can do may help.

More often than not, the more time that passes, the less likely it is that your cancer will recur (come back). For this reason, you will have more follow-up appointments the first year after your treatment and then, as each year passes and you are cancer free, you will see your oncologist (cancer doctor) less.

Cancer research can provide a rough sense of the likelihood of recurrence for you based on the stage of your cancer, details about the tumour, the treatment you had, and other risk factors, but research results cannot help your doctor know for sure if your cancer will return and/or if you will get another type of cancer.

If you would like to know what research has shown the likelihood of recurrence is for groups of people with cancer(s) and treatments like yours, ask your doctor at your follow-up appointment.

What Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Will Do
What You Can Do


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Ongoing & Late Side Effects

Ongoing side effects are often called ‘persistent’ side effects. This means you had them during treatment and they continue after your treatment ends.

‘Late’ side effects of cancer treatment are health problems that can result from cancer and/or cancer treatment that do not show up until six months to one year or more after treatment. These problems and risks are often called late side effects because they start late (after treatment) and can have long-term effects on your health.

Ongoing and late side effects are related to the type of treatment you had, your type and stage of cancer, the effectiveness of your treatments, and your overall health after treatment.

With your oncologist (cancer doctor)

Speak to your oncologist or nurse at your follow-up appointments about possible late effects related to the type of treatment you had and what signs to watch for specifically. Since these effects typically start one year or more after treatment ends, you may not be seeing your oncologist very often. For this reason it is important to write down your risks so you can discuss how to screen and maybe even prevent some of them with your family doctor.

With your family doctor, nurse practitioner and/or primary care team

Speak to your family doctor about your risks for late effects of your cancer treatment. Some (but not all) treatments for endometrial cancer can lead to the ongoing and late side effects listed below. Your family doctor can screen for these risks and problems. You and your doctor should pay attention to changes in your body and how you feel to monitor your health with the right tests.

Bladder Problems
Bowel Problems
Cancer-Related Brain Fog
Fatigue
Hearing Problems
Infertility
Lymphedema
Menopausal Symptoms
Neuropathy
Osteoporosis
Sexual Issues
Sleep Problems
Vaginal Stenosis
Weight Gain
Weight Loss


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Emotional Wellbeing

Now that you have completed your treatment for your cancer, you will find that you need energy to recover from treatment. While focusing on your physical recovery is important, you may also want to pay attention to your emotional recovery and wellbeing. The emotions brought on by cancer can be intense. Finding ways to cope with these emotions is important to long-term wellness.

Every woman will develop her own way of coping after cancer treatment is over. Some people prefer to cope on their own whereas others like to talk about their experience. Some prefer to focus on activities that are fun and are not specifically about improving their distress related to cancer. You will need to find what approaches work best for you, and you may find benefit from a combination of approaches.

Things that may affect your emotional wellbeing include:

  • Ability to work
  • Anxiety
  • Body image
  • Depression
  • Fear of recurrence

Read Life After Treatment to learn how to manage other aspects of your emotional wellbeing. These other aspects of your emotional wellbeing may include:

  • Roles and relationships with others
  • Distress in the family
  • Spiritual well-being/ inner strength
  • Doing what you enjoy
  • Participating in activities of daily living

What you can do

Self-Help: There are many different ways to manage your emotional wellbeing. You will need to find what approaches work best for you, and you may benefit from a combination of approaches. Try doing things that make you feel relaxed and calm. These may be activities that you enjoyed before cancer, or they may be things you discovered during your cancer journey.

  • If depression or anxiety are a concern, discuss a referral with your oncologist or family doctor for counselling
  • Attend your follow-up appointments and ask questions if you have any
  • See your family doctor regularly and discuss all your health concerns, including emotional health

Join a Support Group: Connect with other survivors.

Get Support From the Community:

Ability to Work
Anxiety
Body Image
Depression
Fear of Recurrence


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Overall Health

Exercise and eating well are powerful tools that can help you take control of your physical and mental health. Exercise and eating well can help in many ways. They can:

  • Give you more energy
  • Reduce the impact of treatment side effects
  • Improve your day-to-day functioning and quality of life

Some studies suggest that a combination of exercise and a healthy diet may protect against recurrence from some cancers. But scientists do not agree on the evidence yet. What is certain is that exercise and eating well can help you overcome the sense of being unwell. Exercise and eating well can also help you get ready to live the rest of your life to the fullest.


What You Can Do For Your Overall Health

Exercise

For exercise to be most useful, it needs to be:

  • Regular – That means daily or often
  • Customized – Do what you can manage on that day depending on how you feel
  • Fun – You want to feel alert, calm and invigorated, not tired, upset and drained
  • About 30 minutes – Work towards 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity six days a week

Start off slowly, listen to your body, and progress gradually. For example, start with a walking program 2-3 times a week without changing the intensity. Slowly build up the duration and intensity in small increments (adding 2 minutes of brisk walking every week).

Tips for making exercise part of your routine:

  • Choose a variety of activities that you enjoy, so that you will look forward to doing them. Some people like to walk with a friend for company, or use a pedometer to track their distance.
  • Move to music if you enjoy it
  • Sign up for the Cancer Exercise program at Wellspring
  • Engage in exercise in your local community
  • Join a walking group
  • Use a pedometer to track your progress with walking

Set small, achievable goals for getting back into exercise to start and build up with success and accomplishment of goal.

Eating Well

Tips for healthy eating:

Monitor your:

There are also some classes at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre that may help. See a list of patient classes at Princess Margaret »


Community Resources

  • Wellspring offers a range of free programs and supports.
  • Gilda’s Club is a downtown option that also offers free support for patients and family members.
  • The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) offers:
    • Additional resources
    • Information about diagnosis and treatment (Cancer Information Service)
    • Free telephone support with peers, volunteer patients and family members to support you and your family following a cancer diagnosis. Call 1 888 939 3333 to access this service.
  • Young Adult Cancer Canada is an on-line organization that offers counselling and resources for survivorship, fertility issues, sexuality, etc.​




Page Content

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https://www.uhn.ca/PrincessMargaret/Education/Continuing_Education_Programs/Pages/continuing_education_programs.aspx
Last reviewed: 3/31/2021
Last modified: 2/23/2024 11:26 AM
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