Giving women perspective and hope is an important part of his job as a gynecologic oncologist, says Vaagn Andikyan, MD.
“In the short term, a diagnosis of cancer is devastating news, but when you provide a roadmap for how to overcome challenges and offer them a light at the end of the tunnel, they leave the office with a positive attitude toward fighting cancer,” Dr. Andikyan says. “Offering emotional support, in addition to medical expertise and care, is also key.”
Dr. Andikyan most often treats endometrial, ovarian, cervical, and vulvar cancer. Growing up, he was exposed to the medical field early as both his mother and aunt were physicians. “I was drawn to gynecologic oncology because of how it combines compassionate surgical care with chemotherapy and surveillance care of patients,” he says. “And at Yale, we have access to national and industry-sponsored clinical trials.”
Dr. Andikyan specializes in minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic and robotic), debulking surgery, surgery for vulvar cancer, and sentinel lymph node dissection. He says there have also been significant advances in the field of gynecologic oncology, particularly with ovarian cancer. “We have a new group of chemotherapy drugs that helps us to decrease the recurrence rate and prolong survival in patients with a certain mutation,” he says.
Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Medicine