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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Treatment

The choice of treatment for gynecologic cancers depends on the type, location, and stage of the disease as well as the patient's age and physical health. Because of their specialized training, gynecologic oncologists perform surgery, oversee chemotherapy, and direct radiation therapy. That means one doctor oversees each woman's treatment, offering excellent continuity of care from screening and diagnosis through treatment and follow-up.

Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery. Weill Cornell Cancer Center gynecologic oncologists take a minimally invasive approach to cancer surgery whenever possible. Many women are candidates for laparoscopy, which can sometimes be performed as an outpatient procedure and which is associated with smaller incisions, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery time than open abdominal surgery.

Robotic Surgery. Some women with endometrial or cervical cancer who require a hysterectomy can have the procedure performed robotically. During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing the surgical field through the robot's "vision system." The surgeon uses hand and foot controls to operate the various arms and cameras of the robot, which are placed into position by surgical assistants. The incisions are made in the abdomen and the uterus is removed through the vagina. Weill Cornell Cancer Center has a strong robotic surgery program for gynecologic cancer patients.

Cryosurgery, laser therapy, and cone biopsy are other treatment options, and are performed in the clinic for precancerous cervical conditions.

Chemotherapy

For women who need chemotherapy, such as those with gynecologic cancers that have spread to pelvic lymph nodes or other parts of the body, gynecologic oncologists at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center provide the latest anticancer drugs and drug combinations designed to slow, stop, or shrink tumors.

Radiation Therapy

Some women with gynecologic cancers, such as certain cervical, endometrial, vaginal, and vulvar cancers, may receive radiation therapy as part of their treatment. There are two approaches to this type of treatment:

  • External beam radiation therapy, in which radiation beams are finely targeted to the tumor, sparing as much nearby healthy tissue as possible.
  • Internal radiation therapy, in which a radioactive source is inserted into the vagina and left in place for up to a few days (during which time the patient stays in the hospital) to kill nearby cancer cells.

Learn more about radiation therapy for gynecological cancers.

Fertility Preservation Options

Some approaches to cancer treatment may impair a woman's fertility. Women of childbearing age who are interested in preserving their fertility may consult with reproductive endocrinology experts at Weill Cornell Medical Center's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, designated a Center of Excellence. Embryo freezing and egg freezing are options for some women before they begin cancer treatment. Weill Cornell Cancer Center gynecologic oncologists collaborate with infertility specialists to review fertility preservation options for each patient.

Clinical Trials

Women eligible for clinical trials assessing new therapeutic approaches are offered participation in these vital research studies.

Find an ovarian/peritoneal/fallopian tube cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

Find more Weill Cornell gynecologic oncology clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.

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