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5 Tips if Diagnosed with a Gynecologic Cancer | WORD Blog

5 Tips if Diagnosed with a Gynecologic Cancer

The goal is simple, yet so complex:  We want to make sure that all the information that women need to detect, treat and beat gynecologic cancers is available in a simple and accessible format.  We currently are focused in creating the best, most accurate and thorough digital content to distribute through on-line videos and other web content.

This past year, WORD attended the  Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer ™ in Orlando Florida.  While at the conference, we filmed interviews with leading Gynecologic Oncologists and asked them to tell us some advice they would pass onto a woman who has just been diagnosed with a Gynecologic Cancer.  After the weekend was over, we found that there were 5 tips that consistently came up from every Gynecologic Oncologist we talked to.

Included below is a video playlist that includes the five videos of the “5 Tips if Diagnosed with a Gynecologic Cancer”.  We want to again thank the doctors who volunteered their time to be interviewed for these videos and the other videos used in our “WORDs of Wisdom” resource.

In summary, for text of the tips presented, follow the more link:

Tip 1:  Get to a Gynecologic Oncologist (Gyn Onc)
A Gynecologic Oncologist is a specialist that is trained to take care of gynecologic cancers. Studies show, that in the care of a Gynecologic Oncologist, outcomes for Gynecologic Cancer patients are better If you are diagnosed, please, see a gynecologic oncologist. If you need help finding one near you, click here.

Tip 2: Research & Bring a List of Questions 
The more you know about your disease before your Gyn Onc visit, the better. To make your appointment more productive, learn what you can about your disease before hand, and come with a list of questions written down. If you don’t write down the questions, there is a good chance you may not remember all of them. Questions can be created after visiting the following reputable online resources: Cancer.govCancer.org,FoundationForWomensCancer.org, and WORDonCancer.org (by choosing one of the three common cancer sections: Ovarian CancerCervical CancerUterine Cancer)
Here is a sample list of questions to get you started:

A) What is my exact diagnosis?
B) What therapeutic (treatment) options do I have?
i) Surgery options (is minimally invasive surgery an option?)
ii) Chemo therapy
iii) Radiation therapy
iv) Hormone therapy
v) Biological Treatment
C) What are the side effects of these treatments?
D) What should the follow-up to these treatments be?
E) What could be signs of a recurrence?
F) Questions to ask your surgeon…
i) How many of these procedures do you do on a monthly or yearly basis?
ii) What kind of complications have you had or what complications could be expected?

Tip 3: Bring a “Helper” with You to Your Gyn Onc Visit
A visit with a gynecologic oncologist can often be overwhelming, because a disease like cancer is so complicated.  But, bringing someone else to the appointment, as a support, can often help process the information discussed. When attending an appointment with a gynecologic oncologist, be sure to bring a, “Helper” (friend or family member).

Tip 4:  Get a Second Opinion From Another Gyn Onc
If diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, get a second opinion. “Shopping around” and consulting with other qualified experts will only you understand more of what you are dealing with and it will help ensure that you are with the doctor that is right for you. Again, you can find another gynecologic oncologist by clicking here.

Tip 5:  Talk with Your Gyn Onc about Joining a Clinical Trial.
Clinical trials offer the newest treatments, and studies have shown that participation in these trials, usually leads to better outcomes for gynecologic cancer patients.  To search a list of clinical trials you may qualify for, go to: ClinicalTrials.gov and CancerTrialsHelp.org


To learn more about gynecologic cancer diagnosis, consult one of our three cancer sections at WORDonCancer.org


What do you think about these 5 Tips?  What other tips would you add from your experience?  Please leave your comments and input below.


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