Gynecologic oncology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses only on cancers of the female reproductive system, such as ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and endometrial cancer. Today there are more encouraging treatment options for women with gynecologic cancers than ever before.
Although gynecologic cancers are often grouped together, they vary in terms of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Some of the most common gynecological cancers treated by the specialists at UPMC are:
- Cervical cancer occurs when there are abnormal cells on the cervix growing out of control. This creates a tumor and can be prevented by getting PAP smear screenings and the HPV vaccine.
- Endometrial cancer or uterine cancer, including uterine sarcoma, forms on the lining of the uterus. Some common symptoms are vaginal bleeding, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain, and abnormal or watery discharge from your vagina.
- Ovarian cancer occurs when malignant cells are found inside, on, or near the outer layer of the ovaries. Common symptoms are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, and having to urinate often.
- Vaginal cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the vagina (the canal leading inside the body). Common symptoms are water vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, frequent and painful urination, a lump in your vagina, constipation, and pelvic pain.
- Vulvar cancer forms on the outer surface of women's genitalia. It is most commonly found in older women (but can occur at any age) and creates itching, pain, tenderness, a lump, changes in the skin texture or color, and abnormal bleeding.
At UPMC in the Susquehanna region you can consult with a leading oncologist from Pittsburgh and receive much of your care right here in northcentral Pennsylvania. We offer consults with experts who come to Williamsport from Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh. Fully trained as OB/GYNs, gynecologic oncologists receive an additional three to four years of highly specialized surgical training, as well as training in radiation and medical oncology, to provide comprehensive treatment of female reproductive cancers.
Using resources already in place at UPMC in the Susquehanna region, Dr. John Comerci, gynecological oncologist from UPMC, introduced a women's cancer program for UPMC Susquehanna providing surgical treatment, sometimes in conjunction with other specialists, as well as coordinating care when appropriate with radiation and medical oncology. Dr. Comerci is among approximately 1,000 physicians in the United States who are board certified in gynecologic oncology, as well as obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Gynecologic Cancer Treatments
Gynecologic cancer treatments at UPMC include:
- Surgery, including minimally invasive techniques
- Radiation therapy
Our skilled surgeons have training in laparoscopic and robot-assisted gynecologic surgery.
Ovarian cancer occurs when normal ovarian cells begin to grow in an uncontrolled and abnormal manner and produce tumors in one or both ovaries. This type of cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer that attacks the female reproductive system.
Common treatments for ovarian cancer include:
Types of Ovarian Cancers
There are several types of ovarian cancers:
- Epithelial carcinoma: beginning on the ovary surface.s
- Germ cell tumors: beginning in egg-producing cells.
- Stromal tumors: beginning in the tissue surrounding the ovaries.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Individuals who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer may experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty eating or feeling full
- Pelvic pain with weight loss
- Upset stomach
- Pain during sex
- Menstrual changes
Treating Ovarian Cancer with State-of-the-Art Treatment
Common treatments for ovarian cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and biological therapy, though other treatments are available at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and may be utilized in your care plan. Are you ready to fight cancer and return to a healthy, fulfilling life?
UPMC has cancer centers in Williamsport, Coudersport, and Wellsboro, PA that can provide care and treatment to women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
UPMC delivers an individualized plan of care to promote successful outcomes in uterine cancer patients. We're committed to seeing that your needs are met, you understand your condition and treatment options, and you feel comfortable in the hands of our team.
Common treatments for uterine cancer include:
If you have recently been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you can count on our team of gynecologists, oncologists and social workers to help you beat this disease. The most advanced uterine cancer treatments are available right here in central PA.
What is Uterine Cancer?
There are a variety of types of uterine cancer, each with their own name, such as cervical or endometrial cancer, the two most common uterine cancers. Any cancer occurring in the uterus is defined as uterine cancer.
Uterine Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of uterine cancer may include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Difficulty urinating or pain with urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic pain
For an accurate diagnosis of your symptoms, speak with a provider at UPMC.
Uterine Cancer Causes
While the cause of uterine cancer is still unknown, experts understand that some factors seem to increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer of the uterus. These include being over the age of 50, being postmenopausal, and having endometrial hyperplasia (an abnormally thick lining of the womb).
Uterine Cancer Treatment
Your treatment at UPMC will be customized to your specific needs. After being diagnosed with uterine cancer, our doctors will see what treatment options are available and best fit for your condition. They will collaborate with many of our expert physicians to stop cancer in its tracks.
Treatment for uterine cancer is based on the following factors:
- Overall health and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Tolerance for medications
- Expectations for the course of the disease
Common treatment methods are radiation and chemotherapy, though other forms of therapy are available and may be included in your treatment plan.
Our oncologists provide complete care to screen for, diagnose, and treat uterine cancer in Wellsboro, Coudersport, and Williamsport, PA.