A subspecialty that deals with diagnosing, planning, treating cancers originating from the female genital tract.
Cancers that arise from the female genital tract are Ovary, Endometrium, Uterus, Cervix, Fallopian tube, Vagina, Vulva and peritoneum.
Gynecological oncologist deals with other cancer specialists to ensure reduced incidence of fertility and sexual function related complications.
Evaluation of gynecological cancers includes a pelvic examination, ultrasound, imaging investigations and lab tests which will help in taking case-dependent decisions.
Treatment protocols can include surgical treatment, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy.
Surgery is the first line of treatment for most gynecological cancers.
SURGERIES PERFORMED TO TREAT GYNECOLOGICAL CANCERS
HYSTERECTOMY is the most common surgical procedure performed to treat gynecological cancers like uterine and ovarian cases.
Partial hysterectomy – Only the upper part of the uterus is removed.
Total hysterectomy – Removal of entire uterus and cervix.
Radical hysterectomy – Removal of uterus, cervix, both ovaries, the upper part of the vagina, and surrounding tissues (parametrium) is removed.
LYMPHADENECTOMY – A surgical procedure performed to remove lymph nodes for evaluation of cancer spread to the lymph nodes.
Regional lymphadenectomy – Removal of nodes in the vicinity of the tumor.
Total/ Radical lymphadenectomy – Removal of all the nodes in the draining area of the tumor.
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PELVIC EXENTERATION – A procedure in which the uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries, bladder, rectum, the organs in the pelvic cavity along with nearly lymph nodes are removed.
It is an option for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical, uterine, vulval or vaginal cancers.
Surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Unilateral SALPINGO-OOPHERECTOMY – Removal of one ovary and tube.
Bilateral SALPINGO-OOPHERECTOMY – Removal of both ovaries and tubes.
It can also be offered as a prophylactic option in individuals with high risk of ovarian and breast cancers.
Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
A procedure in which chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly into the peritoneal cavity.
It is a treatment option in ovarian cancer that has spread to the abdominal cavity.
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy helps in circulating heated chemotherapy agents in the peritoneal cavity.
- Surgical removal of all or part of the vulva of female genital tract.
- Partial vulvectomy is removal of part of vulva with underlying tissues.
- Radical vulvectomy involves removal of entire vulva including outer, inner lips and the clitoris.
- Usually recommended along with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy.
It is usually performed for ovarian cancer and includes
- Omentectomy – Removal of part or all omentum.
- Bowel Resection – Removal of involved small/large intestine.
- Appendicectomy – Removal of the appendix.
- Lymph node dissection – Removal of draining lymph nodes.
- Peritonectomy – Removal of lining cover of the abdomen.
Robotic Surgery is an option for some gynecological cancers to minimize the adverse outcomes.
FERTILITY SPARING SURGERIES
Certain gynecological cancer treatments may interfere with fertility and prevent/complicate pregnancy.
If you decide to preserve your facility, there are multiple fertility sparing options as early in the treatment process.