Studies show gynecologic cancer patients have the best outcomes when a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating gynecologic cancers, treats them.
The Center for Gynecologic Oncology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is dedicated to providing the most current and effective clinical expertise and treatment for gynecologic cancer. To achieve the best possible outcomes, surgery is combined as needed with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy. The center also participates in clinical trials.
For women who have undergone extensive surgeries to remove cancer, the center offers reconstructive surgery, a surgical specialty not available at all hospitals. Reconstructions are functional and cosmetic.
Learn more about gynecologic cancer, including:
The center provides care for the following cancerous
The center also provides the following non-cancer-related clinical
- Complete surgical management of patients with invasive or pre-invasive disease of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes
- Multidisciplinary collaboration with radiation oncologists and medical oncologists in management of patients with gynecologic malignancies
- Holistic approach to the cancer patient
- Nutritional counseling
- Image recovery
- Massage, acupuncture, guided imagery
- Social work
- Reconstructive surgeries that are both functional and cosmetic for women who previously have undergone extensive gynecologic cancer surgeries
- Genetic counseling and testing for gynecologic cancer syndromes
- Clinical trials
Symptoms of gynecologic cancer can resemble symptoms of other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a gynecologist with expertise in this area so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, call your doctor:
- Unusual bleeding, including bleeding between periods, abnormally heavy periods, or bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Pelvic pain, persistent pain below your naval (not menstrual cramps)
- Bowel or urine irregularities, including constipation, diarrhea, nausea, excessive gas, or burning when you urinate
- Abdominal swelling
- Lumps or sores on your vagina or vulva
- Lower back pain, a less common symptom that may appear in women with ovarian or uterine cancer
While diagnoses differ depending on the cancer, here is a general guideline for the diagnosis phase:
- Exam: Your doctor asks you about your medical history and performs a thorough physical examination.
- Pap smear: Your doctor performs a pelvic exam and Pap smear. It is important to have regular Pap smears in order to detect precancerous conditions, which can be more easily treated if they are caught earlier.
- Imaging scans: A computed tomography scan (CT), magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) and X-ray can help the doctor locate the abnormality.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): Your doctor dilates your cervix and scrapes the uterine walls to obtain a sample of tissue.
- Biopsy: Your doctor removes a piece of the suspicious mass and sends it to a pathology lab for a definitive diagnosis.
Studies show gynecologic cancer patients have the best outcomes when a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating gynecologic cancers, treats them. Your health care team at MedStar Health will be made up of doctors from many different specialties—gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, and other support staff—but don't let the size of your team overwhelm you. All our team members collaborate frequently and are on the same page regarding your care.
Oncology Tumor Board
MedStar Franklin Square's team approach to caring for women with gynecologic cancers is exemplified by the center's presentation of patients with gynecologic conditions to the general tumor board. These meetings allow representatives from gynecologic oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, research, and nursing to review new cases and optimize the treatment plan for each patient.
Treatments for women with gynecologic cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or targeted therapies or biologics. Our physicians use all the treatment tools available and carefully match patients to the appropriate treatment for them.
While grouped under one heading, there are four distinct types of gynecologic cancers, each with its own risk factors and symptoms.
Read more about the specific gynecologic cancers we treat:
To find a gynecologic cancer specialist, call 443-777-7990.
To learn more about what to expect during your visit, please ask for Marcia.