Conditions We Treat
Einstein oncologists who specialize in cancers of the female reproductive system are passionate about providing care for patients and their families. Our gynecologic oncology team uses a multidisciplinary approach and coordinates care throughout several departments, including clinical genetics, diagnostic imaging, hematology, pathology, radiology and surgical oncology.
Our expert specialists treat the full range of gynecologic cancers, including:
Cervical cancer occurs when healthy cells in the cervix mutate. This mutation is most common in those cervical cells located in the lower part of the uterus. Symptoms are rare rare during the early stages of the disease, but get worse as the cancer progresses. Symptoms can include:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause
- A Vaginal discharge of blood and water
- Pelvic pain
Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer affecting the uterus. It begins in the uterine wall, and is detectable early, as it often causes abnormal vaginal bleeding. Specific symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain
Beginning in the ovaries, this type of cancer often goes undetected until it spreads to other areas of the pelvis or abdomen. Although there are few symptoms associated with early stage ovarian cancer, as the disease progresses, you may experience:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Changes in bowel habits or constipation
- Pelvic Discomfort
- Frequent urination
- Early feelings of being full during meals
- Unintentional weight loss
Vaginal cancer occurs in the vagina, or birth canal, which connects the uterus with the outer genitalia. This is a rare form of cancer that has very few symptoms in the early stages. As the disease develops, you may experience:
- Abnormal bleeding after intercourse or menopause
- Watery discharge
- A lump or mass in the vagina
- Painful or frequent urination and/or constipation
- Pelvic pain
Vulvar cancer develops on the vulva, or outer surface of the genitalia. It may form as an itchy lump or sore and is more common in older women. Treatment involves the removal of the area surrounding the lump. Symptoms include:
- Persistent itching
- Pain or tenderness
- Bleeding that isn’t menstrual
- Skin thickening or color changes
- A wart-like bump or open sore
Depending on the type of cancer you have, its stage and other factors, your oncology team at Einstein will recommend a personalized treatment plan. Options may include:
A common treatment for many types of cancer, radiation therapy targets cancer cells with beams of cancer-killing radiation. At Einstein, we use highly advanced technology to deliver extremely precise doses of radiation, including the Varian TrueBream® linear accelerator (LINAC), which is available at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, and the Varian Trilogy®, which is available in both Philadelphia and Montgomery.
Hormone therapy, or endocrine therapy blocks the body’s ability to produce hormones. It also reduces the severity of cancer symptoms, helps destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body, and reduces the chance that cancer will return after it is treated. Hormone therapy can involve oral medications, injections or, in some cases, surgery to remove the organs that normally reduce the target hormones.
Chemotherapy drugs target and kill dividing cells, which makes them an effective treatment against cancer because cancer cells divide much more often than most normal types of cells. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or surgery, and can target cancer cells that may have been missed by other treatments or have spread to other areas of the body.
Targeted therapies are also cancer drugs like chemotherapy, but they work somewhat differently by targeting cancer-specific genes, proteins or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Targeted therapies can have effects such as slowing or stopping formation of blood vessels that supply the tumor, triggering the immune system to attack the cancer cells, or increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Immunotherapy and biologic therapies are treatments that help your body’s immune system identify and attack cancer cells. This may include taking cancer-fighting T-cells from your tumor and growing large batches of them in the lab. Other types of immunotherapy include drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, which block proteins that stop the immune system from targeting cancer cells, and monoclonal antibodies, which are proteins that attach themselves to cancer cells to signal the immune system to target them.
Depending on the size, location and stage of your cancer; how your cancer responds to other types of therapy and other factors, your doctors may recommend surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. At Einstein, our highly experienced surgeons are experts in the most advanced, minimally-invasive and robotic-assisted procedures.
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If you are experiencing concerning symptoms like abnormal vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today.
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