The gynecologic oncology team at Main Line Health with numerous locations in the Philadelphia suburbs provides state-of-the art, patient-centered care for women with ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal or vulvar cancer. Our first priority is always the patient. Because a diagnosis of a gynecologic cancer is so personal, we provide each woman with individualized care, ensuring that you are involved in every aspect of the decision-making process.
Depending on what type of cancer is suspected, different diagnostic tools will be used to make an accurate diagnosis. For example, a Pap test can detect cervical cancer early, when treatment can be most effective. There is also a test that screens for the HPV infection, which has been linked to cervical cancer.
Diagnosis of gynecologic cancers
Each treatment plan is customized so you can receive the most advanced, least invasive treatments with the fewest side effects. When considering treatments, our team will find the one that works for you. Age, overall health, size and location of the tumor, extent of the disease, and your tolerance for specific treatments are all important factors in determining an individualized and accurate treatment plan.
When possible, we always preserve healthy tissue while targeting the tumor at its point of origin, along with any cancer cells that may have spread.
At Main Line Health, we offer:
- Imaging tests – Non-invasive imaging tools like computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, or ultrasound are often used to detect if a solid mass is present and has spread to other sites. At Main Line Health, fellowship-trained radiologists who specialize in gynecologic pathology evaluate all scans.
- Colposcopy – This procedure utilizes an instrument with a magnifying lens and light to examine the cervix and vagina for abnormalities.
- Biopsy – Biopsies involve removing a small sample of tissue to examine microscopically and are often used to confirm the presence of gynecological cancer. Our highly experienced pathologists will evaluate biopsies promptly and report their results to physicians within 24-hours.For suspected endometrial cancer, the most common gynecological cancer, a minimally invasive biopsy procedure involves inserting a flexible tube into the uterus through the cervix in order to sample uterine tissue.
Gynecologic cancer treatment options
- Surgery – Main Line Health surgeons offer the most advanced surgical procedures for gynecologic cancers. This includes robotic surgery when appropriate.
- Medical oncology (chemotherapy) – We treat patients in a caring and supportive environment. Patients have access to the latest treatment advances in chemotherapy, hormonal therapies and targeted therapies. Our gynecologic oncologists also offer intraperitoneal chemotherapy, in which drugs are delivered directly into the abdomen to combat ovarian cancer. Oncology-certified nurses help educate patients about the disease and provide support for the family and caregivers.
- Radiation – Our Radiation Oncology Program is equipped with sophisticated technology, including TrueBeam STx® which delivers intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Staff members of the Radiation Oncology Department provide each patient with education, care and encouragement in a supportive and understanding environment.
- Minimally invasive and robotic surgery – Minimally invasive surgery, or laparoscopic surgery to remove gynecological tumors, is performed using a very small incision, miniature instruments, and cameras. Benefits from these minimally invasive procedures include less pain, fewer complications, less blood loss and need for transfusions, lower risk of post-procedure infection, minimal scarring and faster recovery times.
During your consultation with our gynecologic oncology team, we will discuss these treatment options with you.
Why Main Line Health for gynecologic oncology?
The Main Line HealthCare Gynecologic Oncology Program sees more than 600 new patients each year. We have delivered more than 500 courses of chemotherapy during the last year and performed more than 400 major surgical procedures. We treat over 80 new cases of uterine cancer each year, 15 cases of cervical cancer, and several patients with vulvar cancers. In addition, we see over 100 consultations per year for abnormal Pap smears, irregular bleeding and ovarian masses.
Ease of access
We feel that no one with a worry about cancer should have to wait to be seen by a specialist. That's why there is no waiting at Main Line Health—one call and we will see you within 24-48 hours and notify the referring physician promptly about the treatment plan.
We offer the full scope of services from diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and recovery care. We follow all patients over a five-year period after treatment and communicate results with you and your referring physician.
We communicate frequently with you to tailor the treatment plan to your needs, lifestyle, and preferences—and we make sure you are well informed about all treatment options.
Most procedures performed at Main Line Health are minimally invasive. Our gynecologic oncologists are highly experienced and use state-of-the-art robotics and other non-invasive technologies.