Gynecologic Cancer Treatments
Asplundh Cancer Pavilion
Our gynecologic oncology team has expertise with the latest and most effective treatments for uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and other cancers of the female reproductive system.
We also are principal investigators in many clinical trials, giving our patients access to new therapies.
Some cancer treatments protect fertility for women who want to be able to become pregnant after treatment. Among the therapies we use to protect fertility: cone biopsy for early cervical cancer; hormonal therapy for early uterine cancer; preservation of the uterus and/or one ovary, when possible, in ovarian cancer.
Our physicians also work closely with reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists who can provide fertility preservation, such as embryo freezing.
Surgery for Gynecologic Cancer
Surgery removes cancer or alleviates related problems. The type of surgery depends upon diagnosis and tumor location. Hysterectomy removes the uterus and may take out ovaries and fallopian tubes. Lymphadenectomy removes lymph nodes. Both may be minimally invasive or open procedures.
We use the latest technology, including a robotic surgical system. This advanced laparoscopic method is less invasive and gives surgeons more precision than conventional surgery. Patients treated with robotic surgery may have less pain and a shorter recovery period.
Radiation Therapy for Gynecologic Cancer
Radiation treatment can destroy a tumor, shrink it before surgical removal or eradicate cancer cells left behind after surgery. It may be used in combination with chemotherapy and can be delivered externally or internally.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) use computer optimization to deliver high-powered radiation in focused beams. This targets the cancer and avoids healthy areas. Some patients may receive high-dose brachytherapy, an internal method in which a sealed source of radiation is placed within the body.
Chemotherapy for Gynecologic Cancer
Used to destroy cancer cells throughout the body, chemotherapy may be given after surgery or radiation, or before surgery. Chemotherapy also may be used to sensitize cells to radiation therapy, slow recurrence or as palliative treatment.
Some ovarian cancer patients receive intraperitoneal chemotherapy, infusing the chemotherapy drug into the abdomen where it bathes the affected organs directly. This National Cancer Institute-endorsed method allows the drug to be administered in higher and more effective doses.
Gynecologic cancers may be treated with targeted therapies to block cancer growth. Some patients receive hormonal therapy to disrupt the influence of certain hormones.
Young Mother Finds Help for Rare Gynecologic Cancer
Read one woman's story about the sophisticated and complex treatment she received for vulvar cancer.
Read Kristin's Story