If thinking about gynecologic care fills you with anxiety, you’re not alone. Many women would rather do just about anything other than have a pelvic exam. But once you understand the role of gynecology in your health — and how to find a good gynecologist — you can face gynecologic care with confidence and ease.
OB/GYNs vs. Gynecologic Oncologist — What’s the Difference?
All gynecologists specialize in reproductive and sexual health services, but there are two main subspecialties of gynecological practices:
- Obstetrics and Gynecology — The practitioners of this subspecialty are called OB/GYNs. They specialize in women’s health and focus on pregnant women and the delivery of babies. OB/GYNs also perform pap smears and routine pelvic exams and screenings.
- Gynecologic Oncology — The practitioners of this subspecialty are called gynecologic oncologists, and they specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other complex conditions of the female reproductive system, like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian masses or cysts. A gynecologic oncologist can also prescribe chemotherapy and other cancer treatments if needed.
Gynecologic Cancers: Rare but a Cause for Concern
Gynecologic cancer refers to any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. While gynecologic cancers are relatively rare compared with other cancers like breast, colon, and lung cancers, about 94,000 women are diagnosed as having gynecologic cancer annually.
There are five main types of gynecologic cancers:
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
If you are diagnosed as having a gynecologic cancer, you will need to make important decisions about what treatment plan is right for you. That could include surgery, chemotherapy, and whether to participate in clinical trials.
It’s critical to partner with a gynecologic oncology practice where you’re comfortable having these conversations and who has the training and experience to best guide you on your journey.
Finding the Right Gynecologic Oncologist for You
Finding the right gynecologist should be more than picking a name off a list. Do your research by talking to your primary care physician as well as your friends and relatives who have experience with gynecologic oncology.
Visit websites for gynecologists in your area and check rating guides like Healthgrades to find the right gynecologist. Don’t forget to find out if they take your insurance. Make sure that you choose a doctor who is:
- Experienced — Find out where they went to medical school, where they completed their residency, and whether they are board-certified.
- Recommended — Find out what other doctors and former patients have to say about them.
- Affiliated with a hospital you respect
- Respectful of your values — Gynecological care involves frank discussions of reproduction and sexuality. You’ll be more comfortable if you feel you can confide in your doctor without fear or judgment.
NVSCC — A Great Choice for Gynecologic Oncology Care
At NVSCC, our gynecologic oncologists specialize in providing care with compassion and a patient-centered focus. We use state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures that allow you to recover as quickly as possible. We have extensive experience treating gynecologic cancers as well as fibroids, endometriosis, precancers, and other complex gynecologic conditions.
NVSCC is one of the best-reviewed Las Vegas gynecology practices, and our comprehensive services are tailored with your health in mind. Schedule a consultation today.