If your GP believes you have symptoms that may indicate a gynaecological cancer, they will refer you to a gynaecologist or gynae-oncologist (specialist in gynaecological cancers).
The referral process may vary depending on the type of gynaecological cancer suspected.
Some patients with suspected cervical or vulval cancer may be referred to a colposcopy clinic for a biopsy.
Other patients will be referred to a gynae clinic.
Investigations and diagnosis
You may be referred for a number of investigations and scans to determine if you have cancer.
These investigations also allow doctors to make a diagnosis and see the extent of any disease.
Some investigations are used for all types of gynaecological cancer, while others are used for specific types only. Further information below:
Patients will be treated by a group of experienced gynae-oncology specialists. This group is known as a multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
The team includes:
- specialist surgeons
- clinical oncologists
- medical oncologists
- clinical nurse specialists
- palliative care team
- admin staff
The Gynae-Oncology Team meets every week to discuss patient diagnoses and treatment plans.
Details of these discussions will be sent to the patient’s GP.
A number of treatments can be used to treat gynaecological cancers:
- brachytherapy (womb and cervical cancer)
- specialist palliative care
You will be asked to sign a consent form before treatment. No medical treatment can be given without patient consent.
It is important that you read and understand this form before signing it.
Patients who have had treatment for a gynaecological cancer will have regular follow-up appointments with their surgeon or oncologist.
You should be aware of your follow-up plan before leaving hospital after your treatment or results appointment.
If you are not aware of your follow-up plan, contact your key worker, Clinical Nurse Specialist or Consultant to find out when you will be reviewed.
If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms in between review appointments, contact your Clinical Nurse Specialist, Consultant or GP.