A gynecologic oncologist is a physician specially trained in the treatment of women with gynecological cancer.
Research has shown that when women with ovarian cancer are treated by a gynecologic oncologist they have better outcomes and increased survival.9 Numerous publications have investigated surgical technique, staging, and recommended therapy based on the specialty of the treating physician. These publications show that when a patient is operated on by a gynecologic oncologist, the patient receives more complete staging of the cancer.9 This is important because it drives the recommended follow-up therapy.
In addition, patients receive a more complete removal of the cancer and more comprehensive treatment following surgery by a gynecologic oncologist. All of these factors combined have improved the 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer patients from 20% to 50%.12 Results of the 1995 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference on Ovarian Cancer state that complete surgical staging is mandatory primary therapy for ovarian cancer, and that the procedure should be completed by a qualified gynecologic oncologist when at all possible.13
It is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists that women who are suspected of having a gynecologic malignancy be evaluated by a gynecologic oncologist prior to treatment.