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Gynecologic Oncology

Gynecologic Oncology is a specialty field in which obstetrician gynecologists focus on treating women with pelvic malignancies, including cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva. To be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc (ABOG) the physician must complete two to four years of additional training beyond their four year residencies in obstetrics and gynecology. They must also take a written and oral examination.

ABOG certified physicians pull from a variety of disciplines when treating patients. The rigorous training means they offer experience in obstetrics and gynecology as well as surgical oncology, which offers a distinct advantage to patients. For example, studies have shown optimal results for cancer tumor removal and debulking (cytoreduction) when performed by a gynecologic oncologist. After surgery, the physicians are well prepared to determine the best path for follow up care for their patients, whether it be radiation, chemotherapy or simply keeping a watchful eye.

In addition, certification requires that the physician have a thorough understanding of clinical trials and statistical analysis. Gynecologic Oncology physicians are usually members of the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), which is dedicated to "promoting excellence in the quality and integrity of clinical and basic scientific research in the field of Gynecologic malignancies". The GOG is supported in these efforts by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes for Health (NIH).