Gynecologic oncology refers to a branch of cancer care focused on cancers of the female reproductive system. The Gynecologic Oncology Program at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) diagnoses and treats cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Members of the well-rounded gynecologic oncology team at CTCA® understand the complexities of reproductive cancer. They are trained to diagnose and treat patients with traditional techniques such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Members of the gynecology oncology team also recommend supportive therapies that help patients manage emotional, physical and sexual side effects of cancer.
Gynecologic oncology care typically begins with a battery of tests and examinations, which may include a pelvic ultrasound, imaging or lab work. This helps gynecologic oncologists determine reproductive cancer staging and type so they can develop a targeted treatment plan. They may also perform debulking surgery to reduce tumor masses in the reproductive regions, if necessary.
Once a diagnosis is reached, gynecologic oncologists discuss findings with the patient, recommending the treatment options available and developing a plan individualized for the patient’s needs. Gynecologic oncologists also may inform patients of fertility-sparing options, if patients express a desire to have children in the future. Patients are educated on common reproductive cancer and treatment-related side effects, which can take a toll on their sense of self as well as their physical, emotional and sexual health. Gynecologic oncologists at CTCA help patients connect with integrative oncology care clinicians in the mind-body medicine, nutrition therapy and other departments to help manage these challenges.