Your Gynecologic Cancer Care Team
At The University of Kansas Cancer Center, our gynecologic cancer specialists are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for women with gynecologic cancer. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained specialists provide the most advanced technologies and techniques available.
Your multidisciplinary cancer care team will include gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists and gynecologic cancer pathologists. Together, the team will coordinate your care to ensure you receive the combination of treatments best suited to you and your particular type of disease.
Your team may include:
Gynecologic nurse navigator
Nurse navigators are your first point of contact. They make sure everything is ready before you see a specialist, including collecting medical record information for the doctor’s analysis, getting orders for additional tests when needed and identifying support services that could benefit you.
Nurse navigators also connect you with community resources to help with issues you may have. For instance, they can help women traveling from a long distance connect with lodging options or schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. They provide emotional support and clinical expertise, as well.
The gynecologic oncologist is the chief coordinating physician throughout your cancer journey. He or she will work with the rest of the care team to effectively identify all possible treatment options. These can include clinical trials at any point in the journey.
Our fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologists are unique because they perform surgery and administer chemotherapy. Surgery often is an integral part of gynecologic cancer treatment. This is important for the accurate diagnosis and removal of as much underlying tumor as possible while leaving healthy tissue intact.
Your gynecologic oncologist will discuss the progress of your care plan, especially if there are changes, with the rest of the treatment team at regular tumor board meetings. The goal of your gynecologic oncologist is to achieve the best outcome and quality of life throughout your treatment and beyond.
A pathologist is a physician who is trained in analyzing tissue samples from all parts of the body, often using a microscope to identify fine details. Becoming board-certified requires focused training in studying diseases and conditions found in the female reproductive system and interpreting tissue samples. A gynecologic pathologist plays an important role in helping the care team arrive at the correct diagnosis. The University of Kansas Cancer Center has pathologists who specialize in gynecologic pathology.
Body radiologists dedicated to abdomen and pelvis
A body radiologist is dedicated and subspecialty-trained in advanced gynecologic imaging. Because disease processes can look similar, their expertise allows them to read and interpret different kinds of imaging studies, including X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs and other imaging tests.
A radiation oncologist spends years studying the delivery of radiation treatment of tumors. While there are different types of radiation, the goal is to damage the tumor cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible. Delivery of radiation has improved greatly over the years to allow treatment delivery to very precise locations. Your radiation oncologist will discuss specific treatment details with you, as well as strategies to minimize side effects.
Specialty-trained nurse clinician and nurse practitioner
A registered nurse clinician and nurse practitioner, both of whom specialize in gynecologic oncology, will be on your care team. These nurses will be your contacts for problems or concerns. They will answer your questions and review information about your treatment. Nurse practitioners have additional education and training. They work with the doctors and see you independently to help with problems during and after treatment.
At The University of Kansas Cancer Center, we understand that cancer affects every aspect of your life. With that in mind, our team is made up of a diverse group of specialists who walk with you through every step of your journey to support you, not just treat your cancer. We address the entire toll cancer takes on the mind, body and spirit because research shows this approach to cancer treatment provides better outcomes.
Our support services team includes social workers, psychologists, palliative care providers, dietitians, a chaplain, a physiatrist (specialist in cancer rehabilitation), nurse navigators, financial counselors and a resource center coordinator along with other specialists to support the specific needs of cancer survivors. This team helps identify challenges you and your caregivers may face and provides tools to manage them, whether they are physical, nutritional, spiritual, social or psychological.