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Gynecologic oncology

Our department

The Gynecologic Oncology Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Chicago, specializes in treating women with cancer of the reproductive organs, including ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers. And although a rarer disease type, our experts have years of training and experience in treating gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), a condition that occurs after conception when trophoblast cells change and form a mass in the placenta, preventing the development of a healthy fetus.

The gynecologic oncology team at CTCA® Chicago offers patients:

Expertise: Each gynecologic oncologist has spent years diagnosing and treating gynecologic cancer.
Continuous care: Staffed with experienced gynecologic oncologists, the team is qualified to treat gynecologic malignancies both surgically and medically (e.g., with chemotherapy).
Comfort and compassion: Each team member is committed to treating you with the care you deserve, and encourages you to talk openly about your questions and concerns.
Surgical staging and treatment: Our gynecologic oncologists are experienced surgeons with expertise in performing procedures to remove gynecologic tumors and to help determine the stage of the cancer (e.g., lymph node biopsies). Surgical staging allows our doctors to decide which treatments to recommend.
Expert collaboration: The CTCA national tumor board, a panel of experts who meet regularly to review and discuss each patient's treatment and monitor progress, helps enhance collaboration among physicians, especially in complex cases.
Access to and experience in providing innovative treatments: Two sophisticated treatments we offer are intraperitoneal chemotherapy and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. With these methods of delivering chemotherapy, treatment is administered into the patient’s abdominal cavity to directly target cancerous cells.

How is gynecologic cancer treatment different at CTCA Chicago?

As a gynecologic cancer patient exploring treatment options at CTCA Chicago, you’ll meet with a board-certified gynecologic oncologist and other members of your multidisciplinary care team, who oversee the many aspects of your care—from surgery and chemotherapy to nutrition therapy.

After reviewing your medical records and health history, and performing a pelvic exam, your gynecologic oncologist may order diagnostic tests to determine an appropriate course of treatment. These may include imaging scans, as well as blood tests.

Generally, within the same evaluation time period, you will meet again with your gynecologic oncologist, generally within two to three days of your first visit, to discuss the test results. Your gynecologic oncologist will share the treatment options available to you, as well as the ways in which supportive care services may be incorporated into your cancer treatment plan.

Individualized treatment and collaboration

Using evidence-based medicine, your gynecologic oncologist will develop a unique treatment tailored to your specific diagnosis. Your treatment plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or another appropriate therapy. Your gynecologic oncologist also works closely with the hospital's other clinical departments to address side effects, such as pain and nutritional needs.

Fertility concerns

We understand that certain cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, may interfere with your fertility and prevent or complicate your ability to become pregnant. If you decide you want to preserve your fertility, we will explain potential oncofertility options before you being treatment. 

Learn more about women and cancer

A word from CTCA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julian Schink

For women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, offering support to the entire family can be an important part of the care journey. That broader supportive approach is one reason why I joined the organization. CTCA has an outstanding care model that includes evidence-based medicine, integrative services and a team that lives and works the Mother Standard® of care.

A gynecologic oncologist is a medical doctor who receives an additional three to four years of training at an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology-approved fellowship program, after completing a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology. During this training, he or she acquires highly specialized expertise in staging, diagnosing and treating the many types of gynecologic cancer.

A gynecologic oncologist is trained to perform surgical procedures to remove as much cancer as possible, while working to spare healthy tissue. These procedures often involve nearby organs and may include colon resection, splenectomy and removal of tumors from the diaphragm. In addition to learning these specialized surgical techniques, a gynecologic oncologist is trained to provide chemotherapy and comprehensive oncology care to a woman throughout the course of cancer treatment.

Another important strength of CTCA is the ability to offer true precision medicine through genomic testing. It’s one thing to identify a treatment option, but it’s quite another to be able to provide the needed drugs. We can do both. It’s about being committed to patients and developing personalized treatment—we’re set up to do that. 

Where we are located

CTCA Chicago

Gynecologic Oncology Department
2520 Elisha Ave.
Zion, IL 60099

New Patients:888-552-6760
Existing Patients:(847) 510-CTCA

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Julian Schink - Chief, CTCA Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Surgery

Meet our gynecologic oncology team

It is important to have a specially trained gynecologic oncologist as part of your care team. Gynecologic oncologists have expertise in treating gynecologic malignancies using advanced technologies to fight the disease. Learn more about our gynecologic oncologists at CTCA Chicago by exploring the bios below:

Julian Schink - Chief, CTCA Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Surgery

Julian Schink

Chief Medical Officer and Chief, CTCA Division of Gynecologic Oncology

Herbert H. Beck III - Gynecologic Oncologist

Herbert H. Beck III

Gynecologic Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

Hatem Halabi - Assistant Director of the GI Cancer Institute

Hatem Halabi

Director, Surgical Oncology, CTCA Gastrointestinal Cancer Institute, CTCA Chicago

Kamal Patel - Medical Director, Radiation Oncology

Kamal Patel

Radiation Oncology Director, CTCA Lung Cancer Institute

Karan Shah

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

Karen Smorowski - Radiation Oncologist

Karen Smorowski

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

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