Gynecologic Cancer Care
Precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix, vulva, and vagina are common in women of all ages. Fortunately, there are currently more treatment options than ever before, and outcomes for these conditions continue to improve.
At ColumbiaDoctors, our board-certified gynecologic oncologists have deep expertise with the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers, and rare pregnancy-related tumors. Our team is internationally recognized for translating the latest research into the clinical advances that improve patients’ health and their quality of life.
Our physicians have pioneered some of the latest surgical techniques and equipment. They are committed to reducing surgical recovery times, advocating for minimally invasive vaginal, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery when appropriate. These procedures eliminate the need for large incisions, reducing recovery time, scarring, pain, and risk of infection.
Dedicated to optimizing outcomes for patients and delivering compassionate care, the gynecologic oncology team takes a multidisciplinary approach to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow up, collaborating closely with leading researchers and specialists across a world-class medical center.
Expert Diagnosis for Precancerous Changes
If you have received a diagnosis of gynecologic cancer or a precancerous condition, you may be referred to a gynecologic oncologist. Common symptoms or conditions that may prompt a referral include:
- Abnormal pap tests
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Vulvar irritations and/or lesions
- Pelvic masses
- Other complex gynecologic conditions
Our physicians conduct thorough evaluations for all new patients, beginning with a review of the patient’s personal and family health history, and including a complete physical and pelvic examination. Our specialists will usually review medical records and pathology reports from referring physicians prior to the first appointment. If your evaluation requires additional specialists, we collaborate closely with pathologists, radiation oncologists, breast specialists, geneticists, reconstructive surgeons, and genetic specialists so that you can get expert multidisciplinary care all in one place.
Comprehensive Cancer Care
Our specialists consult with experts from related fields as well as leading academic researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC)’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center to manage care individually for each patient. Our gynecologic oncology specialists manage pre-cancerous conditions and are trained to perform complex, invasive surgeries. We administer chemotherapy and coordinate radiation treatments. We also provide post-treatment follow-up and surveillance for recurrent cancers.
ColumbiaDoctor’s affiliated hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian, is ranked #1 in New York and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top academic institutions, according to US News & World Report. Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons is the only major medical school in New York City designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Minimally-invasive Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures
Our oncologists are trained to use the latest technology to diagnose and treat precancerous and cancerous conditions. Several minimally-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting.
Colposcopy: Our oncologists use video colposcopy to screen cervical, vaginal, and vulvar diseases. An important diagnostic tool, video colposcopy allows patients to view their cervix and internal conditions on a screen. These visual tools give physicians and patients a better understanding of the different stages of abnormal cell growth.
Loop Electrode Excision Procedure (LEEP): LEEP facilitates the diagnosis of cervical lesions. LEEP is also used to treat some pre-invasive cervical conditions.
Cryosurgery: Cyrosurgery is an inpatient procedure where extreme cold is applied to destroy abnormal tissue. This technique is used to treat some localized, pre-cancerous cervical conditions, such as genital warts of the vulva and vagina.
Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery: We specialize in innovative surgical procedures including advanced laparoscopy, in which abdominal operations are performed through small incisions, as well as state-of-the-art robotic surgery. In robotic surgery, the surgeon uses a remotely controlled computer or device to perform the surgery through laparoscopic incisions. Our doctors use the da Vinci ®Surgical System. These minimally invasive techniques are intended to decrease recovery time, reduce scarring, pain and risk of infection.
Family Support Services
Nurses, psychiatrists, patient navigators, and social workers are available to offer emotional, psychiatric, and family support for our patients and their loved ones. We also offer complementary and alternative medicine options such as acupuncture and nutritional services.
Newly diagnosed gynecological cancer patients undergoing treatment at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are offered the opportunity to participate in Woman to Woman free of charge. They are paired with survivor volunteers for one-on-one emotional support and guidance under the premise of “to know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Survivor volunteers are matched with newly diagnosed patients based on cancer type, language, and age. These volunteers have been disease free for at least 2 years and are professionally trained and supervised by our Program Coordinator, Cirah Mira-Falkenstern, RN. All participants are given the “Gynecological Cancer Information Guide,” a comprehensive booklet provided by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) complete with information and resources, as well as a special section for partners and other caregivers.
For more information about Woman to Woman, please contact:
Cirah Mira-Falkenstern, RN