Gynecologic Oncology

Gynecologic oncology is a subspecialty devoted to providing comprehensive care for women who have, or may have, a gynecologic malignancy such as ovarian, cervical, endometrial or vulvar cancer, and complicated gynecological issues.

We strive to educate our patients and families so they can properly understand their disease in pursuit of prevention, detection, treatment and eventual cure.

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What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer occurs when an abnormal cell develops in the ovary or fallopian tubes and forms a tumor. Ovaries are the female reproductive gland and the main source of estrogen and progesterone. One ovary is found on the left side of the uterus and one ovary is found on the right side. Ovarian cancer is known as a silent cancer, because the symptoms are so general that they may go unnoticed. There are three types of cancerous ovarian tumors.
  • Epithelial—Are the most common and originate from cells outside of the ovary.
  • Germ cell—Originate from the cells that produce eggs.
  • Stromal—Originate from tissue that holds the ovary together and produce progesterone and estrogen.

What are the early symptoms of ovarian cancer?

  • General abdominal discomfort, such as gas, bloating, indigestion or cramping
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Irregular bleeding
Be sure to have open discussions with your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing. It is also extremely important to schedule your annual well-woman exams to ensure that you have regular gynecologic visits. If you have an abnormal pap smear, you may be referred to a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of abnormal cells. Commonly, women with ovarian cancer will have an ovarian cyst or a pelvic mass visible on ultrasound or CT scan and may be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation.

Additional reference links:

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition – http://www.ovarian.org/ American Cancer Society – https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer.html National Cancer Institute – https://www.cancer.gov/types/ovarian