Minimally Invasive Gynecological Oncology Surgery
There are a number of effective treatment options for gynecological cancers, including the minimally invasive daVinci robot Surgical System, all available through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. We offer state-of-the-art technology, and experienced, highly skilled physicians and nurse educators to assist you and your family when faced with a cancer diagnosis.
The three most common types of gynecological cancer are uterine, cervical and ovarian. Below is a brief description of each:
Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. The uterus, also known as the womb, is a pear-shaped organ in the pelvis where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The most common type of uterine cancer also is called endometrial cancer because it forms in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium.
Most uterine cancers are found in women who are going through or who have gone through menopause. Uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the eighth most common cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Uterine cancer rates are higher among white women, but African American women are nearly twice as likely to die from uterine cancer as white women.
Cervical cancer begins in a woman’s cervix – the lower, narrow part of the uterus. The cervix connects the lower part of the uterus to the vagina and forms the birth canal. Cervical cancer develops when normal cells on the surface of the cervix begin to grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor.
The human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, is the main cause of cervical cancer and also causes many vaginal and vulvar cancers. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is highly preventable in most Western countries because screening tests are available. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.
Ovarian cancer begins in a woman’s ovaries, which are the primary source of women’s sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones influence breast growth and body shape, and regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but older women are more likely to get the disease. About 90 percent of women who get ovarian cancer are older than 40 years of age, with the greatest number being 55 years or older.
Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Treatment of ovarian cancer is most effective when it’s found in its early stages. It often produces signs and symptoms, so it is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. Some signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to: abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating, urinary urgency, pelvic discomfort or pain, and persistent nausea, gas or indigestion.
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare uses a multidisciplinary approach to treating gynecological cancers. Treatments may include: robotic surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or targeted treatment.