Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Gynecologic Oncology

List of Articles

  • Staging & Management for Uterine Cancer
    The carcinoma of the endometrium is easily diagnosed, but the well-differentiated cancers may be difficult to separate from advanced atypical hyperplasia. This document also outlines the rationale for the use of chemotherapy in selected patients with endometrial cancer. In a disease long regarded as the province of the surgeon and radiation oncologist, a new look at chemotherapy is producing promising results. After the diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma has been histologically confirmed, the patient should undergo a thorough evaluation. A complete physical examination can discover suspicious lymph nodes and areas of spread within the pelvis. These patients often have other medical problems that must be evaluated for their effect on treatment choices for the cancer.

  • Ovarian Cancer: Early Detection
    Although ovarian cancer is the second most common female reproductive cancer, preceded by cancer of the uterus, more women die from ovarian cancer than from cervical and uterine cancers combined. Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal of the gynecologic malignancies. The role of the generalist obstetricians -- gynecologists and primary care physicians in early detection of ovarian cancer is also defined in this article. Recommended cancer-screening protocols in women with high-risk is also discussed. Data suggest that currently available screening tests do not appear to be beneficial for screening low-risk, asymptomatic women. An annual gynecologic examination with an annual pelvic examination is recommended for preventive health care. Approximately one in 70 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. This increases to 4% to 6% if there is a family history in a first-degree relative.

  • Staging & Surgical Management of Ovarian Cancer
    Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal of gynecologic malignancies, and its mortality exceeds the combined mortality from both cervical and endometrial cancer in the United States. Ovarian malignancy is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in American women and accounts for 5% of all cancer deaths. Insightful overview of the current understanding of the ovarian malignancy as well as the areas of continuing challenges are also discussed in this series of the articles exploring different aspects of ovarian cancer. While therapy for ovarian malignancy has undergone important progress, there is growing concern about the quality of life of these patients. The contributors to this symposium include many of the experts who have advanced the management of this disease, and their articles thoughtfully describe the progress and point to future areas of reproductive research.

  • Ovarian GermCell Tumors: Benign & Malignant
    Germ cell tumors represent a relatively small proportion (~20%) of all ovarian tumors, but are becoming increasingly important in the clinical practice of obstetrics and gynecology. Malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary account for <5% of ovarian cancers in the United States. Most of these neoplasms occur in young women, and extirpation of the disease involves decisions concerning childbearing and probabilities of recurrence. Reproductive function following the treatment of ovarian germ cell tumors is also reviewed. Intraoperative decision making is crucial in preserving reproductive function in girls and young women with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors. The development of effective combination chemotherapy for girls and young women with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors has been one of the true success stories in medicine.

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