KUMC Gynecologic Cancer Center is a one-stop center that provides diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of benign and malignant tumors that occur in women.
1. Early Cancer Checkup and Prevention Clinic
Early Checkup for Gynecologic Cancer
* Cervical Cancer: It is the most common female genital cancer in Korea, with the human papillomavirus as the known cause. It usually undergoes a precursor stage called cervical epithelial tumor for many years; therefore, early diagnosis is possible by undergoing one or more simple PAP tests each year. A human papillomavirus vaccine has recently been developed in order to help prevent cancer caused by HPV 16 and HPV 18.
* Ovarian Cancer: Ovarian cancer mainly occurs in postmenopausal women, and it has recently increased in Korea. There are about 75% advancement with little to no detectable symptoms. If it is found to be advanced, the prognosis is poor, and cytoreductive surgery and postoperative chemotherapy are required. For the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer, it is important to undergo regular check-ups in a healthy condition without symptoms. The currently recommended early diagnosis is routine ultrasonography diagnosis and identification of a tumor marker called CA-125.
* Endometrial Cancer: It is a disease that has recently exhibited a sharp increase in Korea. Risk factors include obesity, low number of pregnancies, menopause after age 52, anovulatory cycle, diabetes, past medical history of endometrial hyperplasia, and family history of endometrial cancer. Approximately 90% of endometrial cancer presents symptoms such as abnormal uterine bleeding or secretion, so it is relatively easy to diagnose early. It grows flat along the endometrium, and thickens and penetrates into the uterine muscles. Ultrasound is used to measure the thickness and shape of the endometrium, and the cancer cell is further examined for confirmation. The prognosis is good if it is detected during the early stage; however, when it has progressed or recurred, it is recommended that regular check-ups be performed due to poor treatment results.
* Cervical Cancer Vaccination: We conduct and promote vaccination against cervical cancer.
* Hereditary Gynecologic Cancer Clinic: Some endometrial and ovarian cancers are caused by heredity. In the case of endometrial cancer, genetic counseling is required if there is family history of colorectal cancer or ovarian cancer. For ovarian cancer, there is a hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome associated with a breast cancer that involves a gene called BRCA. If there is at least one or more breast or ovarian cancer patients in your family, it is advisable to get tested for a genetic disease.
2. Cancer Clinic
We engage in the latest and optimal treatment of patients in accordance with the latest information of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the guidelines of the Korean Society of Gynecologic Oncology.
* Cervical Cancer: Epithelial tumor or epithelial cancer that is confirmed through biopsy can be treated with conization. Meanwhile, radical hysterectomy is required for the management of early invasive cervical cancer. Here at the Gynecologic Cancer Center, we perform radical cervicectomy for women who want to get pregnant. Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy is performed for advanced cervical cancer.
* Ovarian Cancer: Surgery is the mode of treatment for ovarian cancer. It is called cytoreductive surgery because the prognosis can be maximized by eliminating most of the visible tumors, and laparoscopic surgery is performed in the early cases. The stage of ovarian cancer is determined by the results of postoperative pathology, and most cases require adjuvant chemotherapy.
* Endometrial Cancer: Surgery is the mode of treatment for endometrial cancer. The scope of the operation is the removal of the uterus and uterine appendages, and pelvic and aortic lymph nodes. Pathological examination will determine the cancer stage. Gynecologic Cancer Center performs laparoscopy, unless the cancer has progressed to the third stage and above. Adjuvant therapy may not be necessary if the cancer is limited within the uterus and the cell differentiation is good; however, radiation or chemotherapy will be carried out if the cancer has progressed to the cervix or outside the uterus.
3. Clinic for Quality of Life
As the survival rate of cancer patients increases due to the development of new anticancer therapies, there is a growing interest in how to live after the cancer treatment. Gynecologic Cancer Center offers the best services to improve the quality of life of cancer patients by operating lymphedema clinics, complementary alternative medicine clinics, and immunotherapy clinics.
* Lymphedema Clinic: Lymphedema induced by pelvic lymphadenectomy, which is most often performed gynecologic cancer, requires long-term management and treatment.
* Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clinic: In addition to surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, immunotherapy (mistletoe) is performed, and information on nutritional supplements and health supplements are also provided.
4. Benign Tumor Clinic
* Fibroid Clinic: Uterine myomas are benign tumors that occur in the uterine body. These are very common, reaching 30% of patients in their 30s and 40% of patients in their 40s. Treatment is performed based on the size of the myoma, the age of the patient, and the symptoms. Non-surgical treatments include hormone therapy, GnRH analogue, and progestin-containing intrauterine devices, whereas surgical treatments include hysteromyomectomy and hysterectomy.
* Endometriosis and Adenomyosis Clinic: Endometriosis refers to the presence of endometrial tissue in tissues other than the endometrium. It is most commonly found in the peritoneum, uterus, and pelvis, whereas adenomyosis is the term used when it occurs in the uterus. It is usually found in premenopausal women, and it is associated with menstrual cramps and infertility.
* Ovarian Cyst and Benign Tumor Clinics: Ovarian cyst is largely divided into functional cysts and nonfunctional cysts. A functional cyst refers to a cyst that is formed during normal menstrual period, but goes away after. The typical examples are follicular cyst and luteal cysts. Benign tumors other than functional cyst include mature teratoma, endometrioma, and epidermal-derived tumor, which often require surgery. We perform the latest surgical techniques, such as pelvic endoscopy, transvaginal endoscopy, and single fistula laparoscopic surgery.