About the Gynecologic Oncology Program
It is so vital that women with cancer of the reproductive tract be accurately diagnosed and appropriately managed for the duration of their illness, as appropriate treatment and follow-up mean the difference between mere survival and a return to good health. Gynecologic Oncologists are the physicians most experienced in nuances of reproductive tract cancer surgery and are experienced in the selection and sequencing of treatment modalities likely to benefit the patient while minimizing the hazards of overtreatment or under-treatment. The Gynecologic Oncology Program at the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center and the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center is dedicated to addressing the individual needs of each patient in a caring and supportive environment. Our Gynecologic Oncologists work with primary care and OB/GYNs to assure a continuity of care during a patient's treatment.
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On the Cutting Edge of Gynecologic Oncology
Among the advances in the treatment of gynecologic cancers is the groundbreaking introduction of robotic surgery. The system, which combines computer and robotic technologies with the skills of the surgeon, provides a highly effective alternative to both open and traditional small-incision methods in a host of surgical specialties, including gynecologic oncology.
Robotic surgery is an effective surgical option for the treatment of many female reproductive cancers including early-stage cancers of the cervix, endometrium, uterus and ovary. Our Gynecologic Oncologists are the most experienced in the region in robotic hysterectomy, an advanced surgical procedure with benefits including less pain and blood loss, fewer infections and a significantly shorter recovery time. This minimally invasive advanced laparoscopic surgery employs state-of-the-art robotic technology and magnified 3D vision. The robotic micro-instruments translate the precise movements of the surgeons' hands while high-definition scaled 3D imaging allows for optimum viewing and manipulation of sensitive nerves and tissues.
Additionally, we were the first in the region to offer remote after loading high-dose rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy. This outpatient procedure dramatically reduces a woman's hospital stay from several days to several hours. Advances in radiation treatment such as HDR brachytherapy have dramatically improved the outcomes of diseases such as endometrial, cervical and even ovarian cancer.
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About the Role of the Gynecologic Oncologist
Focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female genital tract, including ovarian, uterine, cervical, endometrial and vulva cancers, the field of gynecologic oncology crosses over several disciplines to coordinate care. Through our Gynecologic Oncology Program, Gynecologic Oncologists work with general surgery, radiation oncology, gynecology and medical oncology to coordinate each patient's care.
Gynecologic Oncologists complete a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a three-year fellowship that includes training in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, radical pelvic surgery and general surgery.
Fellows who complete this training must demonstrate an understanding of the following, according to the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists:
- The molecular, immunologic, genetic and environmental aspects of cancer etiology.
- The role, effect and benefit of cancer screening.
- The importance and most beneficial implementation of diagnostic studies.
- The appropriate utilization of surgery, radiation therapy and
chemotherapy, alone or in combination to effect cancer treatment.
Surgical training develops proficiency in all aspects of surgery. Special emphasis is placed on these skills:
- Evaluating candidacy for surgery.
- Selecting the appropriate procedure or surgical route.
- Minimizing the incidence and managing all surgical and other
These specialists also must achieve expertise in directing and administering chemotherapy as well as the management of related toxicities and complications. Finally they must have the theoretical and technical expertise to recommend adjuvant, therapeutic or palliative radiation therapy.
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