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 Williamsport 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 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, John Comerci, MD, gynecological oncologist, introduced a women's cancer program in Williamsport 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.