Gynecologic Cancer – Treatment Options

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, our cancer experts treat Phoenix patients with all types of gynecological cancers. Gynecological cancers occur when abnormal cells grow out of control in the female reproductive organs such as the ovaries, vagina, uterus, cervix, vulva and fallopian tubes.

Gynecological cancers are diagnosed in almost one million women each year and result in just less than 31,000 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. The most widespread form of gynecological cancer is uterine cancer which accounted for nearly 55,000 new cases in 2015. However, ovarian cancer is the most deadly, ranking fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in women.

Gynecological cancers may cause unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain or pressure in the pelvis, abdomen or back, bloating, changes in the color, itching or burning of the vulva and increased urination, constipation or diarrhea.

Palo Verde Cancer Specialists offer a extensive collection of advanced radiation treatments in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale areas. If they are identified early, gynecological cancers can be cured . Annual visits to your gynecologist with pap test screenings can help detect any changes in pre-cancerous cells in the cervix and vagina. Regular self-examinations can also detect some types of gynecologic cancers in the earlier stages when treatment will be more likely successful. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and knowing your family cancer history is also important.

Treatments for Gynecological Cancer

Before your medical oncology team decides on a treatment plan, they take into account several factors including:

  • Type of cancer
  • Stage (or progress) of cancer
  • Location of cancer
  • Your overall health
  • Your medical preferences and lifestyle

You may need one type of treatment, or multiple types of treatment. Our radiation oncologists will work with your team to insure you have the best treatment available for your individual situation. Treatment options include:

  • Conventional surgery – In some cases, it may be possible to remove all or part of the cancerous tumor. This will depend on which type of gynecological cancer you have and how far it has spread.
  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs to shrink or kill the cancerous cells. It enters the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. Because normal cells are also affected, there are significant side effects. Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with radiation therapy.
  • Radiation – Radiation therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy, is the careful use of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer. Radiation therapy works within cancer cells by damaging their ability to multiply. When these cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Healthy tissues are also affected by radiation, but they are able to repair themselves in a way cancer cells cannot.
    • External Radiation Therapy – External beam radiation therapy involves a series of daily outpatient treatments to deliver radiation from a machine outside your body directly to your cancerous cells. The specialists at your Phoenix and Scottsdale cancer centers have a variety of options when it comes to advanced, non-surgical, pain-free radiation therapies. Using Tomotherapy or TrueBeam technologies, our professionals will develop a plan for the specific type and location of your of gynecological cancer.
      • 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) – combines multiple radiation treatment fields to deliver precise doses of radiation to the affected area. Tailoring each of the radiation beams to focus on the tumor delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor and avoids nearby healthy tissue.
      • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – is the most recent advance in the delivery of radiation. IMRT improves on 3D-CRT by modifying the intensity of the radiation within each of the radiation beams. This allows more precise adjustment of radiation doses to the tissues within the target area.
    • Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy) – Internal radiation therapy, or brachytherapy, involves using radioactive sources placed next to or into the vagina, uterus and/or surrounding tissues to kill the cancer cells. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy is delivered in the hospital over the course of 48 to 72 hours. High-dose-rate brachytherapy typically takes a few hours as an outpatient. Depending of the type of cancer you have, you may need to have several sessions of brachytherapy to treat your cancer.
    • Hyperthermia – Non-invasive hyperthermia treatment focuses on exposing tumors to extremely high temperatures to stimulate blood flow, increase oxygenation and make the tumor cells more responsive to radiation.

Call For Your Free Phone Consultation Today!

With a gynecological cancer diagnosis likely comes many questions about the disease, how it will affect your body and what treatment options are best. Please contact our medical oncologists at any of our convenient Phoenix and Scottsdale office locations and find out how radiation therapies can help treat your gynecological cancer. We look forward to discussing your individual case and developing a treatment plan that will result in the best possible outcomes. Call today!

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