When you or a loved one is diagnosed with gynecologic cancer, life undoubtedly changes. You want to be cared for by a team of experienced oncologists who offer effective treatments with innovative technology. And you want to be treated with dignity.
We work together in a variety of ways to optimize your cancer care, including treatment planning conferences, multidisciplinary clinic visits, and follow evidenced-based treatment developed from years of oncology research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Every patient is evaluated by a team of physicians to determine a multidisciplinary treatment plan, specifically designed for you.
At Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center in San Diego, we treat the person, not the illness. We design your gynecologic cancer treatment around you, taking special interest in your values and your goals for the future. You will be cared for by cancer experts who have dedicated their careers to comprehensive and compassionate care for women with gynecologic cancer.
Through the partnership between Scripps Health and MD Anderson, Scripps MD Anderson is part of MD Anderson Cancer Network, a global collaborative network of hospitals and health care systems dedicated to MD Anderson’s mission to eliminate cancer. This means you have access to one of the nation’s top-ranked cancer centers — including research-based approaches and the highest standards of care — right here in San Diego.
Your Scripps MD Anderson gynecologic oncology team includes experts and supportive clinicians and services working together to care for you as a whole person. We want our patients to have a home base in gynecologic oncology for timely, compassionate and thorough scientific/evidence-based care. Our focus is on creating an individualized gynecologic cancer treatment plan that accounts for our patients’ unique needs and goals.
Gynecologic oncologists undergo extensive post-graduate training after receiving their MD/DO and complete four years of OB/GYN residency training, followed by an additional three to four years of gynecologic oncology fellowship training. Gynecologic oncologists are surgical oncologists expertly trained in advanced techniques, including complex open oncologic surgery and minimally invasive surgery such as laparoscopy and robotics. They offer comprehensive individualized cancer treatment discussion and planning, including the discussion of fertility-sparing gynecologic cancer treatment if it is appropriate and work closely with other oncology and women’s health clinicians to provide the best treatment for our patients.
As part of Scripps MD Anderson, we have close relationships with other oncology specialties and offer a wide array of cancer support services. We also focus our attention on excellent communication and accessibility for our patients and referring clinicians. Learn more about your cancer care team and Scripps MD Anderson's multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
Gynecologic cancer is cancer that affects a woman’s reproductive organs, including the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina and vulva. A woman’s risk of developing any of these cancers generally increases with age.
Our oncologists treat gynecologic cancers with personalized treatment plans based on several factors. These include the type of cancer a woman has, the stage of the cancer (how far it may have spread), her medical history and overall health, and whether she plans to become pregnant. Learn more about the various types of gynecologic cancers below.
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a group of rare diseases in which abnormal trophoblast cells grow inside the uterus instead of, or after a pregnancy. Trophoblast cells normally form part of the placenta. Treatment of gestational trophoblastic disease may involve chemotherapy or surgery.
Our comprehensive approach combines our multidisciplinary teams with tools to diagnose and treat cancer — including many leading-edge therapies — to focus on your individual needs.
- Precise surgical capabilities, including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic procedures that can mean fewer incisions and faster recovery.
- Chemotherapy and drug infusion centers that provide the latest therapies to reduce side effects, such as nausea and hair loss, in comfortable, soothing environments.
- Wide range of advanced internal and external radiation therapy methods to target tumors while protecting surrounding healthy tissues.
- Nutrition support – registered dieticians and nutritional consultants with specific expertise in working with patients with cancer.
- Integrative therapies especially for cancer patients, including yoga and meditation, at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.
Your Scripps MD Anderson cancer team will develop a customized cancer treatment plan outlining the treatments and therapies we recommend for your care. Before you begin treatment, you and your physician will review your plan together and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Your gynecologic cancer treatment plan generally includes:
- Family and medical history
- A summary of your cancer diagnosis and staging information
- Diagnostic testing completed (e.g., imaging, biopsy, lab tests)
- Plans for surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and/or other treatments
- Potential side effects of treatments
- Contact information for your cancer care team members
Along with helping you understand your course of treatment and encouraging discussion between you and your physician, your plan helps your team coordinate your care. You also can share your treatment plan with other providers who may be involved in your medical care.
Scripps diagnoses and treats cancer at numerous locations throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista and La Jolla to Encinitas and beyond, our extensive network of Southern California cancer care centers includes:
- Five hospital campuses
- Outpatient clinics
- Specialty cancer treatment centers
Visit cancer care locations for details of each cancer hospital, clinic and specialty center.
Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup of support groups, support services and resources to help you along every step of your cancer journey.
In support of our patients, survivors, their family members, and the community, we host cancer support groups as well as a range of free workshops and health and wellness events on a number of topics, such as:
Check the current list of support offerings or contact your oncology social worker or cancer care coordinator.
Patient education is an integral part of understanding and coping with your cancer diagnosis and treatment. To stay informed, we encourage our patients, along with their caregivers and family members, to:
- Bookmark the Scripps glossary of cancer terms for easy referencing.
- Consult your oncology team for educational materials and a list of trusted online sources beyond the Scripps site.
Navigating cancer might seem overwhelming — especially with so much information online. To ensure you receive the most accurate details, always look to your multidisciplinary team of cancer care experts first.