About GYN Cancer
DiVinci Robotic Surgery
The treatment options available to women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer depend on the type, location and stage of the cancer. Your cancer care team will also consider your age, general health, pre-existing diseases or conditions, and your ability to tolerate the side effects of treatment.
Though treatment of gynecologic cancers varies, the primary methods for treating all gynecologic cancers are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments can be used alone or in combination with each other to achieve more effective results. Possible interventions include:
All gynecologic cancers require surgery of some sort, from biopsy to confirm the presence of cancer to more complex procedures. Doctors have a variety of tools and techniques available to them including laser, LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure), cryosurgery, laparoscopy or laparotomy.
Surgeries to remove cancer may include conization, debulking or cytoreduction, hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy, trachelectomy, oophorectomy, vaginectomy, vulvectomy and/or omentectomy. In advanced cases of gynecological cancer, your cancer care team may recommend exenteration (removal of the uterus, cervix, lymph nodes, bladder, vagina and possibly the rectum and part of the colon). This procedure usually includes reconstructive surgery.
Radiation therapy is the use of a certain type of energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the area being treated. PVHMC’s Trilogy with Rapid Arc radiation machine is able to target just the tumor itself to receive the radiation, largely sparing surrounding tissues and resulting in fewer side effects.
The goal of radiation treatment is typically the complete destruction of an entire tumor. In some cases, the aim is to shrink a tumor in preparation for surgery or to relieve symptoms.
Radiation therapy may include brachytherapy, and other forms of internal radiation therapy, as well as external radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be used in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy uses strong chemicals or drugs to kill cancer cells, stop their reproduction, or slow their growth. Chemotherapy drugs may be given in combination with each other, and also in combination with surgery and radiation.
Drugs used in chemotherapy may be administered intravenously, or taken orally in tablets, capsules, or liquid form. Chemotherapy is considered systemic therapy because it treats the entire body, killing cancer cells that have metastasized from the original tumor as it travels to all parts of the body.
The amount of chemotherapy a patient receives depends on the type of cancer, the drugs being used, and the patient’s overall response to treatment. This type of cancer therapy may be given daily, weekly, or monthly and can continue for months or possibly years. Some drugs may be given in cycles, with rest periods between treatments to allow for the body to recover.