About Gynecological Oncology
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What is Gynecological Oncology?
This is a branch of medicine that specializes on focusing on cancers that affect the female reproductive system. These include:Who is a gynecological oncologist?
- Ovarian cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Cervical cancer
This is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing, treating and managing cancers that affect female reproductive organs. Gynecological oncologists have completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology and then pursued a fellowship in gynecological oncology for subspecialty training. The fellowship usually takes an additional three to four years. It involves intensive training about surgical, radiation chemotherapy and research techniques which are important to providing the very best care for gynecological cancers. Medical doctors who compete for this training can then take both the obstetrics and gynecology board exam and the gynecologic oncology board exam. In a woman’s cancer care team, a gynecologic oncologist serves as the captain.What are the benefits of seeing a gynecological oncologist?
Who should see a gynecological oncologist?
- In addition to having special training on how to perform surgery on the female reproductive system, gynecological oncologists can perform surgery on all the organs of the pelvic tissues, abdominal tissues, and organs to which cancer may have spread to.
- They are also trained extensively in techniques of cytoreductive surgery and surgical staging that are vital in providing the best care and can be the difference between life and death. This is because finding the exact stage of cancer and accurately diagnosing and staging is crucial in planning the best treatment.
- It is important to consult with a gynecologic oncologist before treatment is started so that the best treatment regimen is chosen for you.
- Since a gynecological oncologist is both a surgeon and an oncologist they can manage all the treatment. They can oversee all the aspects of the treatment and write any prescriptions. They are also the best versed in the latest treatments and experiments in the area.
Any woman who suspects or has been diagnosed with gynecological cancer should see a gynecologic oncologist as early as possible in the process if at all possible. This includes:What kind of procedures to expect?
- Ovarian cancer patients: Accurate staging and if required cytoreductive surgery are crucial to the treatment of ovarian cancer.
- Primary peritoneal carcinoma
- Cervical cancer/ dysplasia
- Endometrial/uterine cancer
- Complex typical hyperplasia
- Vaginal and vulvar dysplasia and cancer
- Fallopian tube cancer
- Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia
- The doctor will review your medical and health history. He/she will then perform a pelvic exam. Other diagnostic tests may be ordered such as blood tests and imaging scans.
- You will then discuss the results and the gynecological oncologist will share the available treatment options with you. The doctor will also discuss with you how to incorporate integrative oncology services into your treatment plan. Surgery may have to be performed to remove cancer from your body.
- Robotic surgery is a major breakthrough in the treatment of gynecological cancers. It combines computer and robotic technology with the skills of the gynecological oncologist to provide a highly effective alternative to open incisions and traditional small incision methods. Robotic surgery has benefits such as fewer infections, less pain and blood loss and shorter recovery time.
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