Gynecological oncology surgeons or gynecologist oncologists, after completing their 4 years of obstetrics and gynecology residency, formally receive 3 more years of training in women such as uterine cancer (endometrium cancer), ovarian cancer (ovarian cancer) and cervical cancer (cervical cancer). They are physicians who specialize in the treatment of cancers (gynecological cancers).
In addition to the surgical treatment of cancers, gynecologist oncologists receive training on subjects such as chemotherapy, the principles of radiotherapy, pathology and cancer research during their higher education. In addition to cancer treatment, gynecologist oncologists work with colleagues who are obstetricians and gynecologists in cases of non-cancer but previous surgery, intra-abdominal adhesions or childbirth with a high risk of bleeding.
Development of Gynecological Oncology Surgery in Turkey
The concepts of branching and specialization, which affect medicine all over the world, have also shown their effect in obstetrics and gynecology, and physicians interested in gynecological oncology have emerged in order to better give the necessary care in the treatment of cancer patients.
The concept of gynecological oncology, which developed with the individual efforts and efforts of physicians at the beginning of the process, was officially accepted by the Ministry of Health in 2009 and certificates were distributed to physicians interested in this subject. In 2011, the first official post-specialization programs were started and students were admitted from gynecology and obstetrics specialists by examination.
Since 2011, gynecological oncology surgery training has been given regularly in our country. For more detailed information and historical figures on the subject, readers can refer to the page of the Turkish Gynecological Oncology Association.
Areas of Interest in Gynecological Oncology Surgery
As mentioned above, gynecological oncology surgery mainly deals with the treatment of cancer and surgical procedures that are not cancerous but have a higher difficulty than the standard. The portfolio of services of a gynecologist oncology surgeon includes:
- Uterine Cancer (Endometrium Cancer) (You can reach my article about Uterine Cancer at https://drdermanbasaran.com/rahim-kanseri/ .
- Ovarian cancer (Ovarian Cancer)
- Cervical cancer (Cervical Cancer)
- Vaginal cancer
- cancer of the vulva
- Cases with adhesions to the abdomen, with multiple previous surgeries
- Ovarian cysts that are unsure of cancer
- Complex myoma and endometriosis cases that will require advanced surgical technique
- Birth cases such as placenta accreta, which is thought to be bleeding
- genital fistulas
- Evaluation of risk-reducing surgical options in patients with a family history of colon, breast cancer or gynecological cancer.
Which Gynecological Oncology Surgeon Should I Contact?
The relative newness of gynecological oncology surgery education in Turkey has also caused some conceptual confusion. It is a well-known fact that some physicians try to treat women’s cancers even though they do not have a formal education and diploma on this subject. The medical specialty commission also states that this is not a problem.
However, studies have clearly shown that the best survival outcomes for patients with gynecological cancer are achieved when they are treated by a gynecological oncologist. Cancer diagnosis and treatment has a very important place in the lives of patients and their relatives, in the classical saying, it is a matter of life and death and should only be given by trained physicians.
When a gynecological oncology surgeon is consulted, the education of the physician, the cases he has performed so far, and the treatment possibilities he can offer should be carefully evaluated. For example, closed (laparoscopic or robotic surgery) has become a standard for the treatment of uterine cancer, and sentinel (guard) lymph node technology can be used routinely in the world’s leading centers in patients with uterine cancer.
For ovarian (ovarian cancer) cancer, a gynecologist oncologist should have done a sufficient number of cases, and should have a great command of when and to whom to apply treatments such as intra-abdominal hot chemotherapy (HIPEC) if necessary. For cervical cancer, the most recent studies have shown that open surgery gives better results than closed surgery. Therefore, it is necessary for the gynecologist oncologist to follow the current developments closely.
In summary, gynecologist oncologists or gynecological oncology surgeons are physicians who specialize in the treatment of female cancers, and who act as insurance by their obstetricians and gynecologists in non-cancerous surgical cases.