Gynecologic cancers can strike at any age, but early and appropriate treatment can help you beat the odds.
At Mount Carmel our fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologists work directly with specialists in radiation oncology, radiology, pathology and others to develop a personalized treatment plans that offers you the most precise and effective therapy available. And our Clinical Trial and Cancer Risk Programs give you every possible advantage.
Treatment for gynecologic cancers depends on several factors, including the type of cancer, its extent (stage), its location and your overall health. Among the available treatments are:
In addition to use in staging cancers procedures for endometrial and cervical cancers, Mount Carmel's gynecologist oncologists are now using laparoscopy to treat cancers. Laparoscopy is used in the treatment of endometrial cancers, which involves the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It also can be used to perform a lymph node sampling as well to determine the extent of the cancer. Radical hysterectomies for the treatment of cervical cancer can also be performed laparoscopically as well. This less-invasive approach results in decreased pain and recovery time, allowing you to more quickly return to your normal routines - in two weeks rather than the traditional four to six weeks.
Radiation therapy is used to try to cure cancer, control its growth or relieve symptoms. It's generally provided in collaboration between our gynecologic and radiation oncologists.
Radiation therapy works within cancer cells by damaging their ability to multiply. When these cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Healthy tissues are also affected by radiation, but they are able to repair themselves in a way cancer cells cannot. Among the radiation therapies available to you at Mount Carmel are:
External Beam Radiation Therapy - Similar to getting an X-ray, this painless treatment involves a series of outpatient treatments to accurately deliver radiation to the cancer. They are often given in a series of daily sessions, each taking less than half an hour, Monday through Friday, for five to six weeks.
Brachytherapy - Particularly important in the treatment of vaginal, cervical and uterine cancers, this treatment involves placing radioactive sources in or next to the cancer, and is usually done at the same time or after external beam radiation therapy. Low-dose rate brachytherapy is delivered over the course of 24 to 72 hours. You will be admitted into the hospital to receive this treatment. Depending of the type of cancer you have, you may need to have several sessions of brachytherapy to cure your cancer.
Chemotherapy is a treatment option when the cancer has spread outside of its original location or when other therapies have failed. Chemotherapy may shrink the cancer or slow its growth and relieve symptoms. Typically, a combination of two or more drugs is given to decrease the chance of cancer cells becoming resistant to the therapy.