Gynecologic oncologist Dr. Tashanna Myers appeared on last night’s Medical Rounds – a collaboration between Baystate Health and Western Mass News. The weekly Medical Rounds is broadcast in the 5:30 p.m. portion of the Tuesday night news and focuses on family health and wellness and breakthrough technologies. Each session is followed by an interactive live chat. Last night’s discussion focused on gynecologic cancer. A transcription of last night's edition follows.
Q: How do patients make their way to your medical practice?
A: Most patients are referred to me by their gynecologists, midwives, nurse practitioners or primary care physicians. They may have had a symptom, found something in an examination or radiologic imaging, which brings the problem to everyone’s attention.
Q: What is the number one cancer concern your gynecologic patients have?
A: They are concerned about how the condition will be treated. Some women are unclear about their diagnosis and question if it will require surgery or chemotherapy. They often wonder if their family members are at risk. As gynecologic oncologists, we are able to provide both surgery and chemotherapy options to our patients.
Q: What are the risk factors for uterine cancer?
A: Risk factors can vary, but they generally include age, obesity, infertility, women who have had irregular periods or abnormal bleeding, and women who have problems conceiving or never have conceived.
Q: What role does minimally invasive robotic surgery play in the treatment of gynecologic cancer?
A: Minimally invasive surgery has become the standard of care for women with endometrial cancer and is being used more often in early stage cervical and ovarian cancers. It offers women the opportunity to have aggressive surgeries with faster healing times, smaller incisions and less blood loss. Women of all sizes are now able to have minimally invasive robotic surgery. We’ve come a long way in this field, and thanks to such great technology we are successfully able to treat more gynecological cancer diagnoses.