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Diseases & Conditions

Vulvar Cancer - Cancer Institute Overview

Gynecologic Cancer

Each year, more than 300 women with endometrial, cervical, ovarian and other cancers of the female reproductive system receive cancer treatment from Cleveland Clinic gynecologic oncologists, who collaborate closely with Clinic gynecologic pathologists, medical and radiation oncologists, and radiologists.

Clinic pathologists have extensive expertise in gynecologic malignancies, including having pioneered the diagnosis of ovarian tumors of low malignant potential. This has helped women of reproductive age avoid unnecessarily extensive surgery and radiation or chemotherapy .

Clinic radiologists have the latest cancer treatment techniques , such as color-Doppler flow ultrasound, to detect ovarian cancer. To determine the extent of ovarian cancer and to monitor cancer treatment response, CA125 and blood tests are used. A new blood test, currently under investigation here, is used to detect increased levels of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a lipid that is believed to stimulate the growth of ovarian cancer cells.

Precancerous cervical lesions usually can be treated in the office with the use of LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excisional Procedure).

Clinic gynecologic oncologists try, whenever possible, to preserve fertility or ovarian function without compromising survival, treating cervical cancers with conization versus hysterectomy or simple versus radical hysterectomy. For early cervical and endometrial cancers, and “second look” operations to check for recurrent ovarian cancer, they offer laparoscopic cancer treatment in many cases.

Radiation oncologists here can custom-design interstitial radiation delivery for certain gynecologic cancers. They perform more than 100 brachytherapy procedures each year to treat gynecologic tumors at various stages, including intraoperative, mechanized, high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy.

Membership in the Gynecologic Oncology Group offers patients access to investigational treatments through more than 40 ongoing clinical trials. Additional studies offer patients access to the latest cancer treatments under investigation.

The Clinic’s Familial Cancer Registry offers advice on appropriate screening and prevention to women with a genetic predisposition to ovarian and/or breast cancer.