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INFORMATION ON THE FIELD OF Gynecologic oncology
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Centre for Gynaecology at the University Hospital Frankfurt
Gynecologic oncology and breast cancer
TREATMENT FOCUS Gynecologic oncology
INFORMATION ON THE FIELD OF Gynecologic oncology
Are you searching for a specialist or a clinic specializing in gynecological oncology in Germany? With our doctor and clinic search for medical experts, you can find experienced specialists, clinics, and centers. Here, you can learn about specialization in gynecological oncology or contact a specialist directly.
Definition: What is gynecological oncology?
Gynecological oncology is a specialized field of women’s medicine (gynecology). In large clinics, departments and research studies dedicated to gynecological oncology have emerged. The gynecologists there specialize in the diagnostic and therapy of women with malignant tumor diseases in the female body.
The goal of gynecological oncology is to achieve the optimal treatment for women with cancer of the female genitals and breast, as well as the further development of research in this field. The goal of research in gynecological oncology is to optimize the current treatment methods and to test new therapies, which can elongate the survival time of patients and improve their prognosis. Cancer patients can also participate in clinical studies to profit from the newest areas of research.
Certification in Gynecological Oncology: Gynecological Cancer Centers and Breast Cancer Centers
Since 2003, hospitals can voluntarily become certified in the diagnosis and treatment of certain cancer illnesses. The German Cancer Society is the certifying center. In order to receive certification, clinics must fulfill a predefined performance catalog. The goal of certification is the improved therapy for cancer patients through specialized centers with high numbers of instances and the interdisciplinary cooperation of various specialities and the adherence to guidelines. Within gynecological oncology, clinics can obtain certification as a gynecological cancer center and breast cancer center.
Which cancer illnesses are treated through gynecological oncology?
Special cancer dieses of the woman are not rare. Breast cancer is, according to cancer statistics, not only the most common cancer disease of women, but also the most common cause of death due to a cancer disease world wide. Through the continuing development of breast-cancer therapy, among others as in certified breast cancer centers, the prognosis of breast cancer is very good (the 5-year survival rate is 86%).
Additional gynecological cancers include:
Diagnostics and Therapy in Gynecological Oncology
For the diagnostic and therapy of cancer occuring in women, gynecological oncology relies on modern imaging techniques, minimally invasive technology for biopsy removal or surgery, and medications of the newest generation.
Fundamentally, the following diagnostic techniques are applied, depending on the type of cancer:
- MRT (Magnetic resonance tomography)
- PET-MR and PET-CT
- CT (Computed tomography)
- Tumor markers
- X-Ray examination (mammography)
- Examination of tissue samples
Therapy Options within Gynecological Oncology
Among therapy options within gynecological oncology are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, in addition to hormone and antibody therapies. In many cases, two or more options are combined in order to provide the best possible result.
The goal of modern therapeutic methods is to radically reduce cancer while protecting healthy tissue, as best possible. Especially in the surgical field, minimally invasive surgical procedures (abdominal-laparoscopy) are increasingly preferred to an open incision.
They allow a shorter duration of operation, less risks and stress to the body, and thereby a much shorter recovery time. Frequently performed surgeries include the hysterectomy procedure and breast cancer surgery.
There is a close cooperation within gynecological oncology with other specialized fields, such as radiation therapy, urology, plastic surgery, radiology and oncology. In so-called tumor conferences, each case is discussed by a selection of doctors of various specialties, in order to establish an individualized treatment plan. Pyschological guidance is also especially important in such difficult life situations.
If recovery from cancer is no longer possible, the goal of gynecological oncology is to improve the patient’s quality of life (palliative care). Here, the doctors attempt to reduce pain and treat persistent discomfort. Pain medications and tumor-reducing surgeries, or radiation & chemotherapy are provided at request.
An important aspect of gynecological oncology is also the restoration of the female body. Particularly by cancer illnesses, loss of breast, vaginal or genital tissue can occur as a result of necessary surgeries. Plastic reconstruction makes it possible, with help of the body’s own tissue, to extensively and realistically reconstruct the female breast or an artificial vagina with self-prepared intestinal material.
The Desire to Have Children Despite Cancer – Possibilities within Gynecological Oncology
For young patients, a cancer diagnosis can present a double burden. Not only have they been confronted with a life-threatening disease, but the non-fulfilled desire to bear a child must stay unfulfilled throughout cancer therapy. Young cancer patients should consider family planning prior to the beginning of therapy, even when it seems difficult to do so. In case fertility may be affected throughout the cancer treatment, patients should always discuss this with their treating doctor. Gynecological oncologists offer, when possible, fertility-preserving surgeries. Further options include ovariopexy (by immenent radiation the ovaries can be left out of the radation field) and the freezing of egg cells or ovarian tissue.
Why should I be treated by a specialist in gynecological oncology?
Gynecologists and women’s clinics with a focus on gynecological oncology have extensive experience in the treatment of women 's cancer. They are certified as gynecological cancer centers and guarantee optimal diagnostics and therapy.
Stauber, Manfred; Weyerstahl, Thomas (2007): Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe. 3., aktualisierte Auflage. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme (Duale Reihe).
Keck, Christoph; Denschlag, Dominik; Tempfer, Clemens (2004): Facharztprüfung Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe. 1000 kommentierte Prüfungsfragen ; 6 Tabellen. Stuttgart: Thieme.
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