From a Leading Authority
In the United States, approximately 77,000 women are diagnosed each year with gynecological cancer. Information about the various forms of the disease is readily found online; but when it comes to treatment, your best resource is an experienced, accomplished, thoughtful staff at a renowned facility. AdventHealth Cancer Institute is that facility, employing the most advanced techniques available today. By offering such procedures as robotic hysterectomy, AdventHealth Cancer Institute offers specialized health care, while supporting their patients’ emotional and spiritual needs.
- AdventHealth Cancer Institute Gynecologic Oncology Centre treats more women than any similar program in the Southeast.
- Female gynecological health and cancer prevention are major focuses at AHCI, as demonstrated by our clinical trials programs and the latest in gynecological cancer treatment options
- When it comes to care and compassion, AHCI nursing staff ranks among the top 20% in the country.
- AdventHealth Cancer Institute treats more newly diagnosed cancer patients than any other program in Florida.
- In addition to conventional treatment options, our patients can participate in national clinical trials through the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). These offer unique and promising new treatments for gynecologic cancers.
Cancer Conditions Information
- Endometrial Cancer
A Starting Point
After a diagnosis of endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer, sorting through all the information available may be overwhelming. One of our preliminary goals at AdventHealth is to help patients replace confusion and fear with knowledge and hope. To this end, we present the following endometrial cancer information.
Endometrial cancer affects the lining of the uterus. Several risk factors have been found to increase a woman’s odds of developing endometrial cancer, including obesity, extended use of tamoxifen or estrogen, and genetics, to some extent.
Signs and symptoms of uterine cancer include prolonged periods or bleeding between periods, vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause, watery pink or white discharge, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and dramatic weight loss.
After diagnosis, the next step is to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the endometrium. Endometrial cancer is categorized into four stages:
- Stage I – cancer is found only in the uterus
- Stage II – cancer has spread from the uterus to the cervix but no further
- Stage III – cancer has spread outside the uterus and may have spread to the lymph nodes, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina
- Stage IV – cancer has spread into the bladder or rectum and possibly to other body parts outside the pelvis
A recommendation for endometrial cancer treatment is dependent on the patient’s age and health, the location and size of the cancer, and the stage of the cancer.
Endometrial Cancer Treatment - Robotic Surgery Offers Numerous Benefits
Endometrial cancer treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or a combination of treatments. All forms of treatment have associated side effects, so it is essential to prepare yourself with as much endometrial cancer information as possible and discuss any questions or concerns you have with your treatment team.
The most common treatment for endometrial cancer is a total hysterectomy which involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the pelvic and aortic lymph nodes. While very rare, a radical hysterectomy may be required if the endometrial cancer has spread to the cervix. A radical hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, top part of the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, lymph nodes, lymph channels, and tissue in the pelvic cavity that surrounds the cervix.
Surgeons at AdventHealth Cancer Institute were the first in Central Florida to use the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System to perform highly precise, minimally invasive hysterectomies for the treatment of endometrial cancer. The potential benefits of robotic surgery are numerous and include shorter hospital stays, less risk of infection, less pain and scarring, less blood loss and faster recovery than traditional open surgery.
- Cervical Cancer
Early Detection is Key
In your search for cervical cancer information, you may have learned that this type of gynecological cancer is possibly the most life threatening. At AdventHealth’s Global Robotics Institute, we want you to know that cervical cancer is also the most preventable form of gynecological cancer. In its early stages, cervical cancer has no associated pain or symptoms. It is only in advanced stages of tumor growth that symptoms become apparent. These symptoms include excessive discharge, abnormal bleeding between periods, or bleeding after intercourse and menopause.
A Pap test is the best early detection for cervical cancer. This test is used to detect dysplasias (abnormal cell growth) or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix. A cervical biopsy can also be performed in a doctor’s office.
Innovative screening for the HPV virus, a precursor to cervical cancer, is a medical advancement that is positively impacting diagnosis and survival statistics. The introduction of a vaccine in 2006 has also made a positive impact on these trends.
Robotic Surgical System Revolutionizes Cervical Cancer Treatment
Since most cervical cancers are diagnosed when the tumor is still confined to the cervix, cervical cancer treatment can take various forms, Invasive cervical cancer treatment may include radical hysterectomy, radiation therapy and/or alternative therapies. A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the cervix, margin of upper vagina, uterus, and surrounding tissues (parametria) and lymph nodes.
At AdventHealth, specially trained gynecological oncologists are using the revolutionary da Vinci® Surgical System for the treatment of endometrial and cervical cancer, as well as endometriosis or uterine leiomyoma. This state-of-the-art robotic procedure offers many benefits including shorter hospital stays, less pain and scarring, and a quicker return to normal life. To learn more about this revolutionary procedure, read more about the robotic hysterectomy.
For more cervical cancer information, talk to one of our compassionate health care professionals at AdventHealth Cancer Institute. Our commitment to women’s gynecological health is demonstrated by the fact that our Oncology Center treats more women than any other similar program in the Southeast, and significantly surpasses the state average 5-year survival rate for Cervical Cancer. (Source: National Cancer Database).
Robotic Surgery Improves Outcomes in Benign Surgery
In addition to treating cervical cancer, robotic surgery can be a great alternative for complex benign gynecological conditions. Adhesions, endometriosis, benign adnexal tumors (non-cancerous masses that grow in the fallopian tubes), and uterine fibroids are just some of the conditions that can benefit from the advantages of the da Vinci robot.
- Ovarian Cancer
A Brief Overview
An ovarian cancer diagnosis can be devastating, and trying to make sense of all the ovarian cancer information available can be further disheartening. At AdventHealth, we understand what you are going through and hope that this brief overview of ovarian cancer information provides answers to some of your questions.
There are three types of ovarian cancer, the fifth most common cancer among women:
- Epithelial Ovarian Cancer – accounts for approximately 85% of ovarian cancer; tumor forms on the surface of the ovaries in the epithelial cells
- Germ Cell Cancer – this uncommon ovary cancer starts in cells that form the eggs in the ovaries; it normally affects only adolescent girls, and usually only one ovary
- Stromal Cell Cancer – this vary rare cancer of the ovaries begins in the cells that bind ovarian tissue and produce female hormones
Cancer of the Ovaries - Know the Signs and Symptoms
Cancer of the ovaries was once known as the “silent killer”. Historically, it was thought that symptoms were only experienced in late stages of the disease, but recent ovarian cancer information dispels this belief. Symptoms can include urinary urgency and frequency, bloating, and abdominal or pelvic pain. Other less common symptoms are indigestion, constipation, pain during intercourse, menstrual irregularities and fatigue.
Robotic Surgery - Advanced Treatment for Ovary Cancer
The highly skilled gynecological oncologists at AdventHealth Cancer Institute utilize the revolutionary da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System in performing hysterectomies and staging lymphadenectomies (removal of the surrounding lymph nodes for biopsy) for early-stage ovarian cancer. This state-of-the-art minimally invasive robotic technology offers numerous benefits over traditional surgery.
Our Expertise Extends Beyond Surgery
After surgery, you will benefit from the experienced clinical care team at FHCI as you plan your post-operative chemotherapy. The physicians at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute are experienced in the latest post-operative treatments including intraperitoneal chemotherapy and investigational therapy protocols for advanced and recurrent ovarian cancers. (link to FHCI clinical trials).