03 Apr Almost All Endometrial Cancer Treated Robotically at Froedtert & the Medical College
“During the last several years, minimally invasive procedures have become the mainstay for many gynecologic cancers,” said Janet Rader, MD, FACOG, Medical College of Wisconsin gynecologic oncologist and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The trend has had a major impact on patient quality of life. “Women who come to us are often apprehensive,” Dr. Rader said. “Following surgery, many are surprised and pleased, because they feel better than anticipated.”
Some of the biggest changes have come for women with endometrial cancer, which arises in the lining of the uterus. “We now treat almost all endometrial cancers robotically,” Dr. Rader said. “The da Vinci Surgical System® is a wonderful tool for invasive cancers where we need to do a hysterectomy with removal of lymph nodes.”
Most pre-cancers and early gynecologic cancers can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. Ovarian cancers, which frequently present with large, widespread tumors, usually require open surgery. However, women who are at very high risk of developing ovarian cancer may choose to have their ovaries removed as a preventive measure. “We can treat these women laparoscopically,” Dr. Rader said, “and the surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure.”
“We can provide some treatments using standard laparoscopy, while others may need other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation. Gynecologic oncologists at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin focus on providing patients with the best treatment for their specific disease,” Dr. Rader said.
What’s Next: Defining the Best Options
In the coming years, gynecologic oncologists will continue to explore minimally invasive therapies. According to Dr. Rader, randomized clinical trials will give physicians a better understanding of which patients will benefit most from traditional surgeries, laparoscopic interventions and robotic surgical procedures.