Did you know that the five main types of gynecologic cancer are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer? If not, don’t worry. Most women (and men) aren’t taught about gynecological oncology or its importance.

That’s why gynecological oncology is an incredibly important part of women’s healthcare. It goes beyond simple diagnosis and treatment for cancers affecting a woman’s reproductive organs.

In this quick guide, we’ll take a closer look at what gynecological oncology is all about and how it can help detect underlying health issues before they turn into serious problems down the line. Then, we’ll discuss why it matters so much in ensuring optimal long-term physical health.

What Is Gynecological Oncology?

Gynecological oncology is a field of medicine that addresses gynecologic cancers that affect the female reproductive system. This includes the cancers mentioned above, including cancers of the:

  • Uterus
  • Cervix
  • Vagina
  • Vulva
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes

This type of oncology combines medical care with cancer-specific knowledge to diagnose gynecological cancers in their earliest stages. A qualified gynecological oncologist can help develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. How? They do so through regular gynecologic screenings and preventive services combined with effective surgical and nonsurgical treatments.

Does this mean you need to see a gynecological oncologist regularly? You should visit your gynecologist for annual check-ups. However, visiting a gynecological oncologist might only be necessary if you have certain symptoms (which we’ll explore below).

Overall, gynecological oncologists are specially trained to manage:

  • Gynecologic cancer surgeries
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Other treatments

The bottom line? By combining medical care with gynecologic expertise, gynecological oncologists can improve a patient’s chances of long-term health and success.

The Importance of Gynecological Oncology

Gynecological oncology is extremely important in the fight against women’s cancers. It focuses primarily on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a range of diseases that can affect women’s reproductive systems, including the ovaries and the uterus.

What’s the big deal if you visit a regular gynecologist annually? Early detection is the best way to reduce the risk of serious health complications. That’s why it’s so vital for all women to know the signs and symptoms of gynecological cancers, as well as the types of screenings that are available to detect any warning signs early on.

Visiting a gynecological oncologist regularly means that you’ll be able to take control of your health. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything possible to stay healthy and catch any changes early.

When To See a Gynecological Oncologist

If seeing a gynecological oncologist is so important then how often should you do it? Typically, you would visit your regular gynecologist first with any concerns or changes you’ve seen in your body. If they’re unable to diagnose you or would like a more in-depth exam or opinion, they’ll likely refer you to a gynecological oncologist.

Here are a few signs and symptoms that might warrant a visit to your local gynecological oncologist.

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

Abnormal vaginal discharge can be a sign of an underlying gynecologic condition, such as abnormal cell growth on the cervix and abnormal cell growth in the uterus or ovaries. Visiting a gynecological oncologist may be the best way to rule out cancerous lesions or abnormal tissue growth and determine the cause of the abnormal vaginal discharge.

Additionally, abnormal vaginal discharge can be caused by infections for which treatment is essential. So, you should never ignore abnormal vaginal discharge. Early diagnosis is key and could even save your life. If you experience any abnormal vaginal discharge, it’s important to get checked out by a qualified medical professional right away.

Abnormal Bleeding

If you notice abnormal bleeding outside of your period then it might require an evaluation by a gynecological oncologist. It can vary in presentation and cause a wide range of medical conditions. So, it’s important to have it assessed.

Normal causes could include:

  • Hormonal changes from menopause
  • Use of certain medications
  • Vigorous exercise

However, abnormal vaginal bleeding can also be caused by related more serious illnesses such as uterine cancer or cervical cancer. The only way to determine the exact cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding is to visit a gynecological oncologist. They’ll recommend an examination, if necessary, with further tests such as imaging studies or biopsies.

Persistent Pelvic Pain

Persistent pelvic pain can be a sign of something serious such as cancer. If you’re experiencing persistent pelvic pain, it’s important to get checked out by a gynecological oncologist. Pelvic pain can be caused by many different things like:

  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Fibroids

It can also sometimes be a sign of something more serious such as uterine, bladder, or colon cancer. In any case, it’s important not to leave persistent pelvic pain untreated. It can be difficult to feel in control when your body doesn’t feel normal and persistent pelvic pain is no exception. Seeing a professional is the best way to ensure that you remain healthy.

General Concerns

Finally, if you notice anything else off with your body, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your regular gynecologist or a gynecological oncologist. You know your body better than anyone else. If something feels off or if you notice a change in your menstrual cycle, how your body feels, or anything else, let your doctor know.

It’s understandable to feel anxious and have concerns when having this kind of chat. However, you need to chat with your gynecological oncologist about any worries you might have.

No change in your body should ever be ignored, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. With their knowledge, they’ll be able to quickly evaluate if what you are experiencing is normal or if further examination and testing are needed.

Get in Touch With Our Gynecological Oncologist

At AO Multispecialty Clinic, our gynecological oncology team is dedicated to bringing you the best care possible. Our gynecological oncologists are highly trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological cancers.

Would you like more information about our services? Do you have any questions about the services at our clinic? Get in touch here.