Our gynecologic oncologists understand the impact of cancer and its treatment on all aspects of women's lives. Learn more about what a gynecologic oncologist does to treat patients at Virginia Oncology Associates.
Gynecologic Cancer Care in Hampton Roads
What is Gynecologic Cancer?
Gynecologic cancers are a group of cancers that develop in the woman’s reproductive organs, including cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and uterine/endometrial cancer. Each of these cancers is different, with distinct causes, risk factors, and treatment options. However, across all gynecologic cancers, treatment is most effective when the cancer is found early. Understanding more about women's cancers, risk factors, and symptoms can lower your chance of developing advanced-stage gynecologic cancer.
Common Types of Gynecologic Cancers
Ovarian cancer is a disease that forms in or on the tissues of the ovaries (the reproductive glands that produce eggs).
Cervical cancer is a type of gynecologic cancer that begins in the cervix, which is the organ that connects the uterus to the vagina.
Endometrial cancer, also referred to as uterine cancer, forms in the tissue that lines the uterus. Out of all gynecological cancers, it is the one most frequently diagnosed.
Less Common Types of Gynecologic Cancers
With vaginal cancer, malignant (cancer) cells form in the vagina. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) causes two-thirds of the cases of vaginal cancer.
Vulvar cancer usually forms slowly over the years, most often on the vaginal lips or the sides of the vaginal opening. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) causes about half of all vulvar cancers.
Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor
Also known as GTD, it’s a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus from tissue that forms after conception (the joining of sperm and egg). GTD can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).
What to Expect if You Were Diagnosed With a Gynecologic Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with gynecologic cancer, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a gynecologic oncologist. This type of doctor specializes in treating cancers that develop in the female reproductive system. If you’re in the Hampton Roads area, we offer gynecologic oncology appointments in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Suffolk. Ultimately, the goal of this first appointment with a gynecologic oncologist is to provide you with an individualized treatment plan.
Before your appointment, our team will review the medical records shared with them to better understand your needs. When meeting with one of the VOA gynecologic oncologists you will learn more about the type of cancer, if surgery is needed, and the type(s) of treatment to expect.
Robert Squatrito, M.D. with Virginia Oncology Associates explains what to expect if you are referred to a gynecologic oncologist.
In general, most appointments last a little more than an hour. Before you leave, you will be provided with a list of resources, as well as a list of phone numbers, should you need to contact specific members of your VOA cancer care team.
Virginia Oncology Associates' cancer researchers with The US Oncology Network are leading the discovery of new and improved cancer treatment options for gynecologic cancers, including cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancers. Clinical trials to treat these malignancies are available at our Chesapeake and Norfolk locations.
We strive to provide patients with the latest cancer treatment options for gynecologic cancers, including participating in breakthrough cancer research studies.
Surgery is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of certain gynecologic cancers. Find out about the use of the latest technology, such as the robotic-assisted da Vinci® system. The gynecologic oncologists at Virginia Oncology Associates are able to perform minimally invasive surgeries for many patients, using this technology.
Some gynecologic cancers, such as ovarian cancer, might be related to an inherited gene mutation, specifically to the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Genetic testing is available at Virginia Oncology Associates to identify if you have a genetic condition that puts you at an increased risk. This can help oncologists determine the best cancer treatment for you and tailor screening or preventative recommendations for you and your family members.
From support groups and social workers to financial counseling with our Patient Benefit Representatives, the cancer specialists at Virginia Oncology Associates are here for you every step of the way. We encourage you to learn more and take advantage of our supportive care services.