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Gynecologic Cancer

Cancer of the Cervix, Ovaries, Uterus and Vulva

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  The Gynecologic Cancer Clinic at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview provides a comprehensive and coordinated program of care for women with malignant disease of the reproductive tract. Since its inception, the Clinic has achieved among the highest five-year cancer survival rates in the world as determined by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). We are also designated as a National Center of Excellence in Women's Health by the Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Our goal at the Clinic is to provide the best possible outcome for women with gynecologic cancer. We achieve that goal through innovative treatments centered around the individual needs of each patient. Our team-based approach allows us to evaluate each patient's progress from every perspective and adjust treatment based on response. As one of the largest gynecologic cancer services in the Midwest, we excel in surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments.

Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer has gone from the second to the 13th most common cause of cancer death in American women during the last century -- due in large part to successful screening efforts, predominantly involving widespread availability of the Pap smear. Still, cervical cancer remains the single most pressing cancer concern for women in many parts of the world. In the U.S., more than 14,500 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, and failure to be screened remains one of the most cited causes.

Cervical cancer is thought to be a late development of infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are also responsible for genital warts. The transformation from normal cervical tissue to cancer is thought to typically take years; highlighting the importance of screening is the fact that dysplasias, or "pre-cancerous changes," are usually detectable months to years before the development of cancer. Treatment of dysplasias can usually be done without major surgery and it is highly successful at preventing cancer from developing.

Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer affects one in 70 women. There are about 26,000 women diagnosed each year in the United States. The numerous forms of ovarian cancer are divided into three classes: epithelial, germ cell and stromal cancers. Epithelial ovarian cancer is both the most common and most threatening of these, accounting for roughly 85 percent of all diagnosed ovarian cancers.

Ovarian cancer typically occurs in older women. The average age at diagnosis is 62, but the range extends over virtually every decade of life; and some tumor types (such as germ cell and borderline cancers) occur most commonly in women in their 20s. Ovarian cancer can be "familial" (affecting multiple family members over multiple generations) but most cases are considered "sporadic" meaning the affected individuals have no obvious risk factors and no significant family history.

Uterine Cancer
Almost 35,000 women annually are diagnosed with cancer of the uterine lining (also called endometrial cancer) making it the most common of gynecologic malignancies. Depending on how advanced endometrial cancer is when diagnosed, treatment can involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these.

Vulvar Cancer
Vulvar cancer affects about 3,300 American women annually. Vulvar cancer, like cervical cancer, is associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV). A correlation with smoking has also been established, but whether this "causes" vulvar cancer or simply improves the conditions for getting or growing vulvar cancer remains unclear. Vulvar cancer rates in the United States have been increasing in recent decades. Further vulvar dysplasias (pre-cancers), which may precede the diagnosis of cancer by a decade or more, have quadrupled since the mid-1970s, indicating a potential for further rise in the incidence of this disease coming years.

For more information on gynecologic cancer, visit University of Minnesota Physicians Cancer Care at Fairview
 

Doctors & Providers

Genetic Counseling

Hematology/Oncology

Psychology

Radiation Oncology

Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.

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Edina

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Minneapolis

Wyoming

Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.