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Gynecologic Cancer

Why choose Ochsner Health for your gynecologic cancer care?

The gynecologic cancer team at Ochsner offers unmatched care to women across Louisiana and Mississippi. With the largest gynecologic oncology team in Louisiana, Ochsner provides advanced treatment for common and rare gynecologic cancers, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Our comprehensive approach at multiple locations ensures you will receive personal care from board-certified gynecologic specialists at every stage, from diagnosis to the end of treatment. Whenever possible, we offer minimally invasive procedures. We also specialize in fertility preservation for women who would like the option of having children after treatment.

In 2022, U.S. News & World Report designated Ochsner Medical Center a “High Performing Hospital” for uterine cancer surgery.

Unlike at other health systems, gynecologic oncologist specialists at Ochsner diagnose cancer and also administer chemotherapy to patients. This level of personalized care helps to ensure the best patient outcomes. Our board-certified physicians also offer comprehensive multidisciplinary care in collaboration with a team of providers and doctors, including:

  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Surgical oncologists

We also regularly team up with our ophthalmology colleagues because several newer medications require intense eye surveillance as part of the treatment regimen.

Ochsner provides gynecologic cancer care across the region, with locations in multiple cities. Find a location near you.

We also offer virtual visits for initial consultations, pre-chemotherapy appointments and follow-up care, saving you travel time whenever possible.

Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. There are several types of gynecologic cancer:

  • Cervical cancer. Cervical cancer grows in the cervix, which connects the uterus and the vagina. Most cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer. Regular HPV or Pap tests can also detect cervical cancer before it spreads.
  • Endometrial cancer. The most common form of uterine cancer, endometrial cancer forms in the lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of gynecologic cancer, affecting around 27 in every 100,000 women.
  • Fallopian tube cancer. This ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from your ovaries to the uterus.
  • Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia. This rare type of cancer is a form of gestational trophoblastic disease, when an invasive mole or tumor forms from tissue created after an egg is fertilized in the uterus. Symptoms of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia may appear during pregnancy or months later.
  • Ovarian cancer. A type of cancer that affects the ovaries, ovarian cancer usually affects postmenopausal women. It is the most common cause of death among gynecologic cancers.
  • Primary peritoneal cancer. This ovarian cancer grows in the peritoneum, the tissue lining the part of your abdomen surrounding your reproductive organs.
  • Uterine sarcoma. This rare type of uterine cancer affects the muscular wall of the uterus.
  • Vaginal cancer. This rare cancer affects the birth canal, or vagina. Vaginal cancer often affects women over 50 and can be caused by HPV.
  • Vulvar cancer. This rare form of cancer, often caused by HPV, affects a woman’s external genitalia.

Many things can cause gynecologic cancer. Risk factors include genetics and family history, endometriosis, HPV, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), taking tamoxifen for breast cancer and being overweight or obese. Many gynecological cancers do not have signs or symptoms until they are in advanced stages. Common symptoms can include abnormal bleeding outside menstruation or after menopause, pain during sex, abdominal pain, bloating and fatigue.

Ochsner was one of the first health systems in the nation to perform robotic gynecologic surgeries, and our pioneering gynecologic cancer treatments continue today. We specialize in robotic and minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. Gynecologic cancer treatment will depend on the type of cancer and the tumor stage. Often patients will need a combination of treatment therapies, such as surgery and chemotherapy or radiation. Standard treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy — oral or intravenous therapy that kills cancer cells over a period of time
  • Hysterectomy — surgery to remove the uterus (partial hysterectomy) or cervix and uterus (total hysterectomy)
  • Immunotherapy — treatment that uses a patient’s immune system to target cancer cells
  • Laser surgery — treatment to remove cancerous tissue
  • Pelvic exenteration — surgery for advanced cancers that removes the cervix, vagina and ovaries, along with the bladder, lower colon, rectum and nearby lymph nodes
  • Radiation — a therapy that uses targeted radiation beams to kill cancer cells
  • Radical hysterectomy — surgery to remove the uterus, cervix, both ovaries and fallopian tubes, and surrounding tissue
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy — surgery to remove one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes. This surgery is often combined with a hysterectomy.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy — removal of the primary lymph node near the tumor
  • Targeted therapy — medications that attack only specific molecules or proteins to eliminate cancer
  • Trachelectomy — surgery to remove the cervix but not the uterus, so a woman may be able to still get pregnant
  • Vaginectomy — surgery to remove the vagina
  • Vaginoplasty— a procedure to reconstruct the vagina
  • Vulvectomy — surgery to remove part or all of the vulva

Ochsner provides access to advanced clinical trials for qualified gynecologic cancer patients, including some early-phase trials. Additionally, we offer comprehensive genetic cancer testing for all patients and next-generation sequencing testing of all tumors. This practice allows us to best know if patients should have maintenance treatment after their first treatment or if patients with cancer that returns can benefit from alternative therapies.

A gynecologic cancer diagnosis affects more than just your fertility and sex life. Cancer treatment can impact your entire body, and your mental and emotional health will likely be challenged. That’s why Ochsner provides extensive supportive care for gynecologic cancer patients, including:

Ochsner also assists patients with finding housing near treatment locations, if needed, including at the Brent House Hotel and the American Cancer Society’s Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Gynecologic Cancer

Gynecologic Cancer Locations

Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
2390 West Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70506
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
1000 West Pinhook Road
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Acadia General Hospital
1305 Crowley Rayne Highway
Crowley, LA 70526
  • Open 24/7
St. Tammany Cancer Center - A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center
900 Ochsner Blvd.
Covington, LA 70433
  • Mon – Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.