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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Gynecologic oncology for ovarian cancer

gynecologic oncology

Gynecologic oncology for ovarian cancer

As a gynecologic cancer patient exploring treatment options at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), you’ll meet with a gynecologic oncologist on your first visit. Your gynecologic oncologist will discuss your health and spend time addressing your questions and concerns.

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

You will meet with your gynecologic oncologist again soon to discuss the test results. At that time, your gynecologic oncologist will discuss the treatment options available to you, as well as the ways in which supportive care services may be incorporated into your treatment plan.

Our gynecologic oncology team develops individualized treatment plans using evidence-based medicine, tailoring a program to each patient. Your treatment plan may include surgery, chemotherapy or therapy with a monoclonal antibody. It all depends on your unique case and preferences.

How often do I get treatment?

Once you’ve begun your ovarian cancer treatment, you’ll meet with our gynecologic cancer team approximately every three to four weeks. Each time, you’ll undergo a comprehensive set of blood tests and a physical exam. You’ll also have access to every member of your treatment team, which may include a dietitian, naturopathic clinician and care manager.

Fertility concerns for younger women

For women with early ovarian cancer, fertility-sparing surgery may be a treatment option. We consider fertility issues for younger women, and we provide support for all women who experience sexual side effects as a result of ovarian cancer treatment, through our Survivorship Support program.

If you want to preserve your fertility during ovarian cancer treatment, your gynecological oncologist can discuss with you a variety of fertility-sparing procedures and whether they may be right for you.

What is gynecologic oncology?

Gynecologic oncology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive organs, including the ovaries, endometrium, uterus, cervix, fallopian tube, peritoneal, vagina and vulva.

A gynecologic oncologist is a medical doctor who receives an additional three to four years of training after completing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. During this training, he or she acquires highly specialized expertise to stage, diagnose and treat all types of gynecologic cancer. In addition to performing specialized surgical procedures, a gynecologic oncologist is trained to provide chemotherapy and comprehensive oncology care to a woman throughout the course of cancer treatment.

Our gynecologic oncology team provides innovative treatments to women with cancer of the reproductive organs, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers. In addition, our gynecologic oncologists treat gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), which occurs when tumors form in the cells of the uterus that would normally develop into the placenta during pregnancy. We specialize in advanced surgical techniques to remove cancer, while sparing healthy tissue.

Multiple studies1 have shown that women who have their initial ovarian cancer diagnosis and surgery done by a gynecologic oncologist are likely to experience fewer side effects from the surgery, and have a lower risk of ovarian cancer recurrence.

1. Earle CC, Schrag D, Neville BA, Yabroff KR, Topor M, Fahey A, Trimble EL, Bodurka DC, Bristow RE, Carney M, and Warren JL. Effect of surgeon specialty on processes and outcomes for ovarian cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006;98(3):172-80.