Gynecological oncology includes the detection and treatment of female reproductive system cancers including ovaries, endometrium, cervix, falopian tube, peritoneal, vagina and vulva. A gynecological oncologist will work closely with the rest of your care team to customize therapies to match your specific needs, minimize side effects, and address issues like fertility or sexual function. Treatment of gynecological cancers typically begins with a range of tests and exams, including a pelvic examination, ultrasound, diagnostic scans, and/or laboratory testing.
Such treatments and tests help a gynecological oncologist define the type and stage of reproductive cancer to better develop a tailored treatment plan. Gynecological oncologists are trained with a variety of tools and technologies, including targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, to treat gynecological malignancies. Both therapies are planned and administered to treat the disease while conserving healthy tissue. Surgery is often a first line therapy for many gynecological cancers. The type of surgery can be dependent on the type of gynecologic cancer, its stage and the fertility problems of a patient.
One of the most common surgical procedures used to treat gynecological cancers, such as uterine and ovarian cancer, is a hysterectomy. In some cases, only the upper part of the uterus is removed by performing a partial hysterectomy. A complete hysterectomy extracts the whole cervix and the whole uterus. The cervix, uterus, both ovaries, the upper part of the vagina, and the surrounding tissue, are extracted in a radical hysterectomy.
It is important to know that certain gynecological cancer treatments will interfere with your fertility and prevent or complicate pregnancy, if you want to have babies. We will answer your questions and concerns, to help you make more educated treatment decisions. When you want to maintain your fertility, we will explore a number of fertility-sparing options with you as early as possible during the treatment process. Our gynecological oncologists understand the impact of gynecologic cancer and its treatment on other facets of a woman's life, including sexuality, physical and emotional well-being, and family dynamics, in addition to fertility issues.