Gynecologic oncologists at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute help women understand and battle to overcome the following:
Cervical cancer develops in the cells of the cervix. It’s the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented through regular screening with a Pap smear. These screenings can detect issues while the damaged cells are in the pre-cancerous phase. In addition, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are available for adolescents before they become sexually active and are exposed to the infection. This virus damages cervical cells over time and can lead to cancer in some women. Our providers offer patients the latest diagnostic and treatment methods for abnormal Pap smears and invasive cervical cancer. Treatment may involve a range of options from conservative surgery with preservation of fertility (when appropriate) through aggressive surgery sometimes combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy when indicated. Our providers are leaders in cervical cancer treatment in the Gulf South, and they participate in research studies for the management of early stage as well as advanced and recurrent cervical cancer.
The most common of all cancers that occur in the uterus, endometrial cancer typically occurs in patients ages 60 to 70, although some cases may occur in the late 30s. Increased levels of estrogen seem to play a role in endometrial cancer. Certain additional factors, such as obesity, diabetes and early-onset menstruation (prior to age 12), may also increase the risk of developing this cancer. A pelvic examination is frequently normal, especially in the early stages of the disease. Changes in the size, shape, or feel of the uterus or surrounding structures may be seen when the disease is more advanced. Treatment options involve surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The Gynecologic Oncology team strives to provide the latest, most advanced cancer care for patients that are challenged with endometrial cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the most serious of all gynecologic malignancies since it is frequently a “silent cancer” with few early symptoms. It is commonly diagnosed in its advanced stages. Common symptoms include pressure or fullness in the pelvis, abdominal bloating, changes in bowel or bladder habits, which are progressive, and persistent digestive problems such as upper abdominal discomfort, distention, and gas pains. Since these symptoms are vague and non-specific, it is difficult to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. The proper diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer is best accomplished by specialists in Gynecologic Oncology. Our providers offer patients the latest techniques in treatment. Primary treatment is surgical debulking followed by aggressive chemotherapy.
The Gynecologic Oncology team also may be involved in the management of pelvic masses where there is a suspicion of ovarian cancer. Many patients who are found to have an ovarian mass or an ovarian cyst may like to have a gynecologic oncologist perform their surgery. This service provides an additional measure of assurance that if cancer is detected, the proper specialist will be involved at the initiation of treatment. Additionally, genetic testing referrals are provided for patients with a strong family history of ovarian cancer.
This cancer usually begins in the wall of the uterus or endometrium. The symptoms that accompany this kind of cancer are irregular bleeding not related to menstruation, abnormal bleeding after menopause, painful urination and pain in the pelvic area. The Gynecologic Oncology team provides the latest in early diagnosis as well as the full range of treatment options. Many patients can be cured by surgery alone; however, Gynecologic Oncologists work closely with Radiation Oncologists when radiation therapy is needed.