Inova Schar Cancer Institute and Inova Women's Services work together seamlessly to provide a comprehensive treatment program for women with cervical, endometrial, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, or vulvar cancer.

The most common treatments for reproductive cancers are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. More aggressive treatment may include a combination. Treatment is available at all Inova locations. All treatment plans depend on the individual woman's type, location and extent of the cancer. You and your physician will work together to determine the best approach for your specific cancer.

Learning About Your Treatment Options

You may have questions and concerns about your treatment options. You may also want to know how you’ll feel and function after treatment, and if you’ll have to change your normal activities.

Your healthcare provider is the best person to answer your questions. He or she can tell you what your treatment choices are, how successful they’re expected to be, and what the risks and side effects are. Your healthcare provider may advise a specific treatment. Or he or she may offer more than one, and ask you to decide which one you’d like to use. It can be hard to make this decision. It is important to take the time you need to make the best decision.

Deciding on the best plan may take some time. Talk with your healthcare provider about how much time you can take to explore your options. You may want to get another opinion before deciding on your treatment plan. In fact, some insurance companies may require a second opinion. In addition, you may want to involve your family and friends in this process.

Chemotherapy relies on drugs that travel through the bloodstream to kill cancerous cells. It is used as a follow-up therapy to surgery.

A course of radiation therapy is appropriate for many gynecologic cancers. It may be used alone in early-stage tumors or combined with chemotherapy in locally advanced disease. Radiation therapy may also be used before or after surgery.