Gynecologic cancer

Gynecologic cancer overview

If you have a gynecologic cancer, your outcomes will be better if you are treated by a gynecologic oncologist right from the beginning.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) has more gynecologic oncologists than any other medical center or clinic in the Pacific Northwest. We treat all types of gynecologic cancer, including cervical, endometrial, ovarian, and vulvar cancers, uterine sarcoma and gestational trophoblastic disease.

Gynecologic oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancers of the female reproductive organs.

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phone (206) 598-8300
Call us to request an appointment with one of our expert gynecologic oncologist.
Referring providers may fax the referral.

Where you're treated first matters most

The most important decision a person with cancer will make is deciding where to get treated. Studies have shown that patients who begin their treatment at a top regional cancer center, like SCCA, have better outcomes than those who start their treatment elsewhere. And here’s why:

  • Expert care: SCCA physicians treat only cancer and specialize in specific cancer types, such as gynecologic cancer. They have a deep understanding of their specialty since they diagnose and treat thousands of cancer cases every year. This experience builds their expertise, which makes better outcomes possible.
  • Newest treatments: The team of experts at SCCA have access to the latest developments and research in treating cancer. SCCA unites the leading researchers and cancer specialists of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's. 

When your treatment is complete, we'll keep close watch on your health through our Women’s Wellness Clinic  where we provide wellness-focused follow-up care  focused on cancer treatment recovery.

Every gynecologic cancer patient at SCCA has a personal health-care team that includes a gynecologic oncologist, surgery staff, nurse case managers and a radiation oncologist, if needed.

Before your first visit, the team will have reviewed your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) and any scans or tests you have already had. If you do not live in or near Seattle, we may ask your referring doctor to arrange for additional tests or scans so that these results are available before your appointment.

Biopsy The removal of a sample of tissue or fluid that is examined to see whether cancer is present. This may be done with a large needle or through surgical removal of tissue or fluids. Gynecologic oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancers of the female reproductive organs. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

Facts

Most of the people who come to SCCA for gynecologic cancer care are referred by a primary care provider, internist or gynecologist. About half of these individuals live in the three-county area that includes Seattle. Most of the rest come from the five-state Pacific Northwest region.

Treatment

Today, women facing gynecological cancer have better treatment options than they did even a few years ago. If detected in the precancerous stage, some cancers can often be halted with a simple procedure.

Precancerous A condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer. Also called premalignant. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

Providers

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Clinical trials

SCCA was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For gynecologic cancer patients, this means more treatment options at SCCA than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in one of many ongoing clinical trials conducted at SCCA and its partner organizations, Fred Hutch and UW Medicine.

Prevention

The Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention (BOCP) Clinic at SCCA is for women with a very strong risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

At this clinic, we provide a personalized approach to cancer risk assessment, prevention, and screening, including an evaluation and a discussion of your individual breast and ovarian cancer risk.

Screening Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease. Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (for breast cancer), colonoscopy (for colon cancer) and Pap and HPV tests (for cervical cancer). Screening can also include a genetic test to check for a person’s risk of developing an inherited disease.