Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Gynecologic Cancer

Treatment & Diagnosis

Specific treatment for gynecologic cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history, the extent of the disease, and other individual factors. For example, while treatment for cervical cancer may require surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, treatment for uterine cancer would depend on the stage of the cancer—whether it is confined to the ovaries or has spread to other parts of the body.

For detailed treatment information on a particular type of gynecologic cancer, click on the link below to read more.

Cervical Cancer

Treatment for cervical cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy (also called immunotherapy).

Surgery for cervical cancer may include cryosurgery (the use of liquid ntrogen, or a probe that is very cold, to freeze and kill cancer cells); laser surgery (the use of a powerful beam of light, which can be directed to specific parts of the body without making a large incision, to destroy abnormal cells); and/or hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus, including the cervix).

For cancer of the cervix, Sylvester provides chemo-radiation treatment—the administration of chemotherapy once a week along with daily radiation treatment for up to six weeks. This combination enhances the effectiveness of the radiation treatment.

Our radiation therapy department also offers the use of a new applicator for the delivery of low-dose-rate internal radiotherapy for cancers of the cervix, vagina, and endometrium (uterus). Current implant applicators are made of metal and usually require two to three days of hospitalization and two separate hospital stays. Our new applicator is made of plastic and conforms to the physical dimensions of the vagina. It requires only one hospital stay for two days and achieves the same effect as with the current applicators. This applicator is a unique design of the University of Miami radiation therapy department.

Endometrial Cancer

For cancer of the endometrium (uterus), Sylvester provides high-dose-rate radiation therapy once a week for up to six weeks. We also provide Seed Implant Therapy, which includes the implantation of a “seed” internally in the lower pelvic area and this provides direct radiation therapy.

Specific treatment for endometrial cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history and other individual factors. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer—whether it is confined in the endometrium, or whether it has spread to other parts of the uterus or other parts of the body. Generally, treatment for patients with cancer of the endometrium includes surgery, radiation therapy, and/or hormone therapy.

Surgery for endometrial cancer may include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries), pelvic lymph node dissection (removal of some lymph nodes from the pelvis), and/or laparoscopic lymph node sampling (removal of some pelvic lymph nodes through a viewing tube).

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. Radiation therapy may be delivered externally through a machine or internally through tiny tubes inserted through the vagina and left in place for a few days.

Sylvester’s radiation therapy department also offers the use of a new applicator for the delivery of low-dose-rate internal radiotherapy for cancers of the cervix, vagina, and endometrium (uterus). Current types of implant applicators are made of metal and usually require two to three days of hospitalization and two separate hospital stays. Our new applicator is made of plastic and conforms to the physical dimensions of the vagina. It requires only one hospital stay for two days and achieves the same effect as with the current applicators. This applicator is a unique design of the University of Miami radiation therapy department.

In some cases, hormones can kill cancer cells, slow the growth of cancer cells, or stop cancer cells from growing. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment involves taking substances to interfere with the activity of hormones or to stop the production of hormones.

Progesterone (in pill form) may be given as hormone therapy for endometrial cancer. Tamoxifen may also be used to treat advanced endometrial cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

Specific treatment for ovarian cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history and other individual factors. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer—whether it is confined to the ovaries or has spread to other parts of the body. Generally, ovarian cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of treatments.

Surgery for ovarian cancer may include salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), or pelvic lymph node dissection.

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce. These drugs may be given into a vein or by mouth, in tablet form.

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. Radiation therapy may be delivered externally through a machine or internally, in some cases using a radioactive liquid given through a catheter into the abdomen.

Uterine Cancer

Treatment for uterine cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history and other individual factors. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer—whether it is confined to the ovaries or has spread to other parts of the body. Generally, uterine cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or hormone therapy.

Surgery for uterine cancer may include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), or salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries).

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. Radiation therapy may be delivered externally through a machine, or internally, through tiny tubes inserted through the vagina and left in place for a few days.

In some cases, hormones can kill cancer cells, slow the growth of cancer cells, or stop cancer cells from growing. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment involves taking substances to interfere with the activity of hormones or to stop the production of hormones.

Progesterone (in pill form) may be given as hormone therapy for uterine cancer.

Vaginal Cancer

Treatment for vaginal cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history and other individual factors. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer—whether it is confined to the vagina, or has spread to other parts of the body. Generally, vaginal cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.

Surgery may include laser surgery or local excision to remove the cancer, or a partial or complete vaginectomy to remove the vagina.

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce. These drugs may be given into a vein or by mouth, in tablet form.

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. Radiation therapy may be delivered externally through a machine or internally through tiny tubes inserted through the vagina and left in place for a few days.

Sylvester’s radiation therapy department also offers the use of a new applicator for the delivery of low-dose-rate internal radiotherapy for cancers of the cervix, vagina, and endometrium (uterus). Current types of implant applicators are made of metal and usually require two to three days of hospitalization and two separate hospital stays. Our new applicator is made of plastic and conforms to the physical dimensions of the vagina. It requires only one hospital stay for two days and achieves the same effect as with the current applicators. This applicator is a unique design of the University of Miami radiation therapy department.

Vulvar Cancer

Treatment for vulvar cancer is based on several factors including a patient’s overall health and medical history and other individual factors. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer—whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Generally, vulvar cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.

Surgery may include laser surgery (use of a powerful beam of light to destroy abnormal cells, excision (removal of the cancer cells and an area of normal appearing skin around the cancer), or vulvectomy (surgical removal of part of all of the tissues of the vulvar region).

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. For patients with vulvar cancer, radiation therapy is delivered externally, through a machine.

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