WHAT IS GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY?
Gynecologic Oncology is the medical subspecialty that is responsible for the care of women with genital cancer, that is, cancer of the cervix, endometrial or body cancer, ovarian cancer, vulvar or vaginal cancer.
In 1969, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, faced with the impossibility of assimilating the avalanche of information and mastering all the techniques that were offered to specialists at the time, recommended the creation of 3 subspecialties: maternal-fetal medicine, medicine of reproduction and gynecologic oncology. In 1972, the guidelines for the certification of this last subspecialty were defined, which for years has been consolidated based on the advances in medicine itself.
Since its creation and until today, Gynecologic Oncology appears as the most suitable medical subspecialty that exists today in the world to effectively prevent and treat gynecological cancer.
DOES GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY ONLY TREAT GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER?
No, Gynecologic Oncology, in addition to gynecological cancers, is also in charge of all benign and malignant pathologies of the breast, both in women and in men, with this being of lower incidence (1 in 100 men may suffer from breast cancer). Gynecologic oncologists are trained in its prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Recall that breast cancer is the second most frequent cancer after lung cancer in the general population in the world, and is the leading cause of death from cancer in women worldwide, representing 15% of deaths, lung cancer follows with 13.8%, colorectal cancer 9.5% and cervical cancer with 7.5% per year. That is why in the identification of risk factors, prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the essential objectives of all gynecologic oncologists.
CAN GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER BE PREVENTED?
Within all gynecologic cancers, only cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer related to infection with some papillomavirus can be prevented with the application of FDA-approved vaccines. That is why evaluation and advice by gynecologic oncology specialists is important to identify the candidates for these vaccines as well as the identification of other risk factors that increase the possibility of some type of gynecological cancer as well as regulating behaviors to reduce such factors such as following:
- Performing physical exercise regularly (at least 4 hours a week).
- Avoiding overweight and obesity after menopause and regular alcohol consumption.
- Regulating the use of hormonal therapies (for fertility, for menopause or contraceptives).
- Avoid tobacco.
- Identifying women with a very high risk of developing breast cancer and other gynecological cancers due to BRCA, MLH, TP53 mutations, among others, and taking prophylactic measures that reduce the possibility of presentation.
- Carrying out screening tests such as cytology to identify cervical cancer that is recommended two years after starting sexual life in the event of alterations, there are diagnostic tests such as colposcopy, biopsies, etc.
- Carrying out bilateral mammography from the age of 40 for early detection of breast cancer.
- And regularly going to gynecological check-ups to identify pathologies of the female reproductive system that could be related to some gynecological cancer, since there are no standardized screening tests for endometrial, vulvar or vaginal ovarian cancer.
WHO SHOULD VISIT A GYNECOLOGIST ONCOLOGIST?
Any patient who needs advice on the identification of risk factors, prevention and the same, as well as any patient who has suspicion of gynecological cancer or breast cancer.
It is recommended from the age of 18 to start with gynecological counseling to be able to identify early any pathology that may be related to some gynecological cancer and patients with a higher risk of suffering it.
The information contained in this form will be handled confidentially and exclusively for the use of the Cancun Cancer Institute center, (* Information required).