Gynecologic oncologists are specialists in the area of female reproductive cancers. By training, they are ob-gyns with an extra specialty added on. This means they complete 4 years of OB/GYN training after medical school, and then 3-4 years of more specialty training beyond that. They are trained in all the treatments used for gyn cancers - surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and experimental treatments and combine knowledge of gynecology with expertise in detecting and treating cancers of the female reproductive system.
Not only do gynecologic oncologists learn to do surgery on the female reproductive system, but on all the organs of the pelvic and abdominal tissues which may be involved if cancer has spread, including the bowel, spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. Perhaps most importantly, they are extensively trained in the vital techniques of surgical staging and cytoreductive surgery (also called "debulking").
Another advantage to seeing a gynecologic oncologist is that one doctor can manage all the treatment for a patient, since they are trained both as a surgeon and a specialty oncologist. They can prescribe and oversee all aspects of a woman's treatment, surgery and chemotherapy, and are the most likely professional to be well-versed in the latest treatments in the area, including experimental ones. Studies have shown better outcomes for women treated by gynecologic oncologists.
Gynecological oncologists are also trained in evaluating and counseling patients with regard to genetically inherited cancers such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and colon cancer. They are experts in identifying patients for genetic counseling and testing as well as prophylactic surgery or close surveillance in patients at high risk for female reproductive cancers.
Cancers Gynecologic Oncologist Treat Cervical Cancer Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
Fallopian Tube Cancer Primary Peritoneal Cancer Ovarian Cancer Uterine Cancer Vaginal & Vulvar Cancer Breast Cancer
Benign Disorders Gynecologic Oncologist Treat Endometriosis
Complex/Large ovarian masses Precancerous lesions of the cervix, uterus, vagina, and vulva Large Fibroid uteruses Urinary incontinence
Fistulas Uterine or Vaginal Prolapse
Difficult Surgical Issues
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