Gynecologic Cancer

The Gynecologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital uses a multidisciplinary approach. Supported by a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses and researchers, our cancer patients can face their disease from a position of strength.

Gynecologic Cancers Risk

Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors and different prevention strategies. All women are at risk for different types of gynecologic cancer, and risk increases with age. A woman who is experiencing abdominal or pelvic pain should see her doctor. Symptoms may be caused by something other than gynecologic cancer, but an evaluation by a physician is the only way to know for sure.

At Smilow Cancer Hospital, we treat precancerous changes of the vulva, vagina and cervix, including dysplasia and carcinomas in these organs; premalignant changes of the endometrium, including adenomatous hyperplasias; vulvar cancer; vaginal cancer; cervical cancer; uterine cancer; fallopian tube cancer; ovarian cancer and gestational trophoblastic disease; and soft-tissue tumors of the pelvis.

Why Smilow Cancer Hospital for Gynecologic Oncology

At Smilow Cancer Hospital, gynecologic oncology services unite a multidisciplinary team of clinicians. Our physicians are board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and in the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology, which brings together surgery, chemotherapy and radiation oncology.

The multidisciplinary focus extends to the tumor board, held weekly under the direction of the Gynecologic Cancers Program working in concert with radiation oncology and pathology. The slide for all gynecologic cancer patients are reviewed at the tumor board. All therapeutic decisions are made by a panel of experts in the field of gynecologic malignancy diagnosis and management.

Other key aspects of gynecologic oncology include:

Management of previously untreated gynecologic cancers

Our Gynecologic Cancers Program offers urologic, gastrointestinal and gynecologic surgery for the management of previously untreated gynecologic cancers, including radical hysterectomies for cervical cancer, cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer, radical vulvectomies for vulvar cancer and total abdominal hysterectomies, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomies, and lymphadenectomies for the staging and treatment of endometrial cancers. In addition, gynecologic surgery for unusual tumors occurring in the female pelvis, such as benign and malignant soft tissue tumors, are routinely managed by the Gynecologic Cancer Program.

Surgery for the complications of gynecologic malignancies

The Gynecologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital provides surgical management of complications resulting from gynecologic cancers or for progressive disease that include small and large bowel resections, colostomies, fistula repairs, and repair of pelvic support for the management of patients with gynecologic malignancies.

Surgery for recurrent gynecologic cancer

We also provide surgical management of disease that previously was not susceptible to effective surgery or whose recurrence now makes it appropriate to operate. Gynecologic surgery can include radical resection of recurrent ovarian cancer, radical hysterectomies and pelvic exenterations for recurrent cervical cancer, radical resections of pelvic and abdominal disease for recurrent endometrial cancer and surgical resection of vulvar lesions following surgery or surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for the management of vulvar cancer.

Difficult gynecologic surgery for benign gynecologic disease

Clinicians with the Gynecologic Cancers Program are routinely asked to provide surgical management for gynecologic cancer patients with benign gynecologic conditions, particularly those that had previously been treated surgically unsuccessfully. Such conditions include endometriosis, extensive uterine fibroids (leiomyomas), recurrent ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, and pelvis organ prolapse.

Chemotherapy management of gynecologic cancers

We have a full spectrum of chemotherapeutic agents useful in the management of ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, uterine cancer, mesenchyme tumors of the uterus, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer. These chemotherapeutic agents may be used either for primary treatment or treatment of recurrent disease. The Gynecologic Cancers Program offers chemotherapy both for previously untreated gynecologic malignancies as well as for the management of recurrent gynecologic malignancies that may have initially failed to respond to chemotherapy or other treatment modalities.

Radiation therapy for gynecologic malignancies

Our radiation oncology services use both brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy for the management of a spectrum of gynecologic cancers including cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer.

Colposcopy service

We have a full-service colposcopy program to help diagnose premalignant and malignant reproductive diseases, and we offer laser, loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP), and cold-knife conizations for cervical cancer and, in selected patients, for vulvar cancer and vaginal cancer.