Most Common Gynecologic Cancers
Each year, thousands of American women are diagnosed with cancers of the reproductive system. To ensure women throughout the region have access to gynecologic cancer expertise, Saint Francis Medical Center’s Cancer Institute partners with Cape Gynecologic Oncology to provide specialty care for:
- Ovarian cancer—involves the reproductive egg sacs and may take many forms
- Uterine cancer—also called endometrial cancer, occurs in the womb (the uterus)
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Cervical cancer—occurs at entrance to the uterus
Advanced education is required for treating gynecologic cancers, which involves state-of-the-art surgical training in diseases of the female pelvis. The staff at Cape Gynecologic Oncology is thoroughly trained in managing difficult and life-threatening disorders and diseases affecting the female reproductive system. Together, they work with colleagues in internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology and medical oncology to provide patients with the highest standard of care in gynecologic cancer treatment.
In order to catch cervical cancer in its earliest stages, you should receive a regular pelvic exam every year after age 18 or after becoming sexually active. Check with your primary doctor or healthcare provider about receiving pap tests with a liquid-base three years after becoming sexually active or at age 21. Screenings may be reduced to every three years if you have reached the age of 30 and you have had three normal results in a row. You may choose to stop these tests when you reach 70 if you have had three normal tests in a row and have seen no abnormal results in the previous 10 years.
The following diagnostic scans can be helpful in detecting cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer:
Gynecologic cancer can be treated through surgery using the latest robotic procedures, which gives surgeons unparalleled surgical accuracy by combining 3-D visualization, high-definition cameras and four robotic arms. Robotic surgical procedures and other treatments used for cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and uterine cancer include:
- da Vinci® S HD™ Surgical System
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Frameless stereotactic radiosurgery
Saint Francis Medical Center offers the I Can Cope program to gynecologic cancer patients and their families. This program gives patients an opportunity to share their concerns with others having similar experiences and to help them design ways to cope with the challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis. Speakers include healthcare professionals in cancer management. Videos, print materials and discussions provide up-to-date information for patients and their families and friends.
I Can Cope meets the third Wednesday of every month from 11:30 am to 1 pm at the Saint Francis Cancer Institute. To learn more about I Can Cope, call 573-334-2230.