Gynecologic cancer is one of the fields where more gains have been made both in diagnosis and potential treatments, whether medical or surgical.
Early diagnosis of tumor processes is the most important factor in improving the prognosis of the patient and allows the use of less aggressive treatments, which improve not only survival rates, but also quality of life. This has been made possible by the establishment of annual review guidelines that allow us to conduct a systematic screening of oncologic disease in gynecology, including techniques such as the identification and typing of HPV (human papillomavirus), vaginal ultrasound and systematic study of digital mammography and breast MRI.
The incidence of cervical cancer has seen a steady decline since the middle of the twentieth century in developed countries thanks to the increased use of condoms and to the development of screening programs that use Pap and HPV tests. This trend has been reversing in the past years due to increased immigration form developing countries. Cervical cancer is still the most frequent female cancer worldwide. In Spain it amounts to 4.5 percent of female cancer, after breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Early diagnose is key to the successful treatment of this condition. Once the tumor has been diagnosed and its stage determined, it is important to provide the suitable treatment, preferably surgical and performed by oncologic specialists. The surgical team will then decide which procedure should be performed: vaginal operation (Shcauta-Amreich) or abdominal laparoscopy (Wertheim-Meigs) always in the patient’s best interest.
It amounts to 6.7 percent of all female cancers. It is the most frequent malignant tumor after breast cancer, 40 percent more common than ovarian cancer and more than twice than cervical cancer.
As with all oncologic pathologies, early diagnose is crucial.
The use of screening techniques like the vaginal ultrasound allows the early detection of possible endometrial lesions both malignant and premalignant.
Suspected lesions must be confirmed through diagnostic hysteroscopy, a minimally invasive and painless procedure performed in the doctor’s office that allows to fully view the endometrial cavity and to take tissue samples in case there are suspected lesions.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment will be laparoscopic surgery unless there are medical contraindications. Laparoscopic approach allows for a much speedier recovery.
It amounts to about 5 percent of malignant tumors in females. It is the third most frequent gynecologic female tumor after breast and endometrial cancer, representing 23 percent of all gynecologic cancers, and 47 percent of all deaths due to gynecologic malignancies.
Early diagnosis of ovarian cancer is the key factor to a successful treatment. It is made through imagining techniques, hence the importance of performing vaginal ultrasounds in the periodic checkups.
Once diagnosed, if the cancer has been detected early, it will be possible to treat it with laparoscopic surgery by a team of expert oncologic surgeons. Should the tumor characteristics or its stage call for it, classic abdominal surgery would be performed, always with the best patient outcome in mind.
Today more is known about breast cancer than ever before. Early diagnosis and less aggressive treatments with fewer repercussions of the patient’s quality of life are now possible.
At the Unidad de la Mujer we have a multidisciplinary team of gynecologists, radiologists, oncologists, and experts in nuclear medicine and in reconstructive surgery who work closely together always with the patient’s best interest in mind.