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Published on November 01, 2010

Women's Wellness November 2010

Gynecologic Cancers: What Every Woman Should Know

Gynecologic oncology is the specialty of diagnosing and treating pre-malignant and malignant conditions of the gynecologic organs or tract. The most common of these cancers occur in the cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vulva. Cancers of these areas are treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy—either alone or with a combination of treatments that are individualized to each patient.

Understanding the history of the disease and who is at risk can help women to prevent gynecologic cancers. Cigarette smokers have been identified as prone to cervical and vulvar cancer. Women who are significantly overweight are often at an increased risk for uterine cancer. A family history of any type of cancer may or may not confer a cancer risk to you. The real key to prevention is overall good health and regular evaluations by a physician. Don't be afraid to report any symptom that you perceive as abnormal.

The Crozer and Delaware County Regional Cancer Centers have board-certified gynecologic oncologists with offices located on both campuses. These physicians are specially trained in all of the effective treatments of gynecological cancers, as well as the biology and pathology of gynecologic cancer. In this way, treatment can be individualized with a plan designed to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients with gynecologic cancers can also take advantage of a staff of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other healthcare professionals.

Crozer-Keystone also offers patient-care navigators who assist patients whose abnormal test results may lead to a cancer diagnosis. The navigators coordinate a plan of care for patients from the initial testing to the consultation with surgeons and, if necessary, with radiation and medical oncologists. They focus on educating patients and families, helping them to facilitate communication with other physicians, joining support groups and aiding in insurance matters.

For information about cancer services offered by Crozer-Keystone Health System, call 1-866-695-HOPE (1-866-695-4673) or visit http://ckcancer.crozer.org.

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