Why Am I Being Referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist
Why am I being referred to a gynecologic oncologist? There are a few reasons why your physician may have decided that this is the best next step for you.
Gynecologic oncologists are cancer doctors who specialize in treating cancers of the female reproductive system. This includes cancers of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and vulva.
It's not uncommon to feel anxious when your doctor refers you to a specialist. After all, it can be difficult to understand why we need to see someone outside of our primary care team.
To fully understand why am I being referred to a gynecologic oncologist, here are some FAQs that might help shed some light on the situation.
What is a Gynecologic Oncologist?
A gynecologic oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and vulva.
Gynecologic oncologists offer a higher level of care for patients with gynecologic cancers. They are trained to perform surgery and treat cancer patients with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Gynecologic oncologists treat the following types of cancers:
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
Because these types of cancer can be complex and require specialized treatment, seeing a gynecologic oncologist is often the best course of action.
There are several factors that may contribute to your doctor's decision to refer you to a gynecologic oncologist. Your age, health history, family history, and type or stage of cancer will all play a role in this decision.
Why Am I Being Referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist?
There are many reasons why someone might be referred to a gynecologic oncologist. Some common reasons include:
- You have been diagnosed with gynecologic cancer.
- You are at high risk for gynecologic cancer.
- You have gynecologic cancer symptoms such as abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain.
- You have an abnormal pap test result.
- You have a lump or mass in the pelvic area.
- You have a family history of gynecologic cancers.
If you are being referred to a gynecologic oncologist, it is important to remember that this does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Many women who are referred to a gynecologic oncologist do not have cancer.
However, it is important to see a specialist to rule out cancer and to get the best possible treatment if cancer is found. If you have any questions or concerns about being referred to a gynecologic oncologist, be sure to talk to your doctor.
The Impact of Gynecologic Cancer on Fertility
Gynecologic oncologists understand the unique challenges that a cancer diagnosis can pose, and are thus able to provide the best possible care.
In addition, gynecologic oncologists are often able to offer fertility-sparing surgery, which can be vital for younger patients who wish to preserve their ability to have children.
They can also provide guidance and support on issues such as sexuality and body image, which can be difficult to deal with during treatment.
Overall, a gynecologic oncologist can provide vital support and expertise during your cancer journey.
When to See an OB-GYN or Gynecologic Oncologist
As a woman, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of gynecologic cancer. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of these symptoms especially those unrelated to the reproductive organs.
As with most cancers, the earlier gynecologic cancers are found and treated, the better. Here are some common gynecologic cancer symptoms women shouldn’t ignore:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, including bleeding between periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, post-menopausal spotting, and post-intercourse spotting
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Early satiety
- Changes in bathroom habits such as increased urination, constipation, diarrhea, or ribbon-like stool
- Itching or burning of the vulva
- Changes in vulva color
- Skin rash, sores, warts, ulcers
If you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms, it is important to see your regular OB-GYN.
However, there are some specific reasons why you may be referred to a gynecologic oncologist.
Your OB-GYN may refer you to a gynecologic oncologist if you have a family history of gynecologic cancer. If you have first-degree family members (mother, sister, or daughter) who have been diagnosed with gynecologic cancer, you may be at a higher risk and need to be monitored more closely.
You may also be referred to a gynecologic oncologist if you have had abnormal pap smear results. An abnormal pap smear can be a sign of cervical cancer or other changes in the cells of the cervix.
If you have any symptoms that are concerning you, or if you have any risk factors for gynecologic cancer, be sure to talk to your OB-GYN. You may need to be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further testing and possible treatment options.
FAQs About Why Am I Being Referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist
1. Does being referred to an oncologist mean you have cancer?
No, being referred to a gynecologic oncologist does not mean you have cancer.
2.What happens at your first gynecologic oncologist appointment?
At your first gynecologic oncologist appointment, your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam.
They may also order tests such as a pap smear or pelvic ultrasound to help diagnose any gynecologic cancers you may have.
3. What's the difference between gynecology and gynecologic oncology?
Gynecology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the health of the female reproductive system.
Gynecologic oncology is a subspecialty of gynecology that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous and precancerous conditions of the female reproductive system.
Why am I being referred to a gynecologic oncologist? It's likely because your doctor feels that this is the best course of action for your particular case.
Gynecologic oncologists are cancer doctors who specialize in treating cancers of the female reproductive system, so they're well-equipped to provide you with the care and treatment that you need.
If you have any questions or concerns about why you're being referred to a specialist, don't hesitate to ask your doctor for more information.
Knowledge Gate Group offers a variety of services that can help you stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in these fields, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you!