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Gynecologic Cancer

Gynecologic cancers include several types, such as cervical, ovarian and uterine. Since each type of gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention strategies, the healthcare professionals at Summa Health System combine the latest cancer treatment technology with a comprehensive course of cancer treatment options.

At Summa, we strive to catch cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and cure. Through our dedication to exceptional cancer screening programs, we strive to improve the overall health of the communities we serve.

The 5-year survival rate for gynecologic cancer drops in advanced stages of the disease, but too many women wait until they experience symptoms. By then, the cancer may have spread and be more difficult to treat and cure. That’s why it is so important to schedule a regular screening and undergo recommended check-ups with a gynecologist.

Preventive screenings

Pap tests are the most effective way of preventing or avoiding cervical cancer.  In the case of ovarian and uterine cancers, there are no recommended tests or screening to find the cancers BEFORE symptoms develop. Many women with ovarian cancer have pelvic or abdominal discomfort; an ultrasound is traditionally performed. Most women with uterine cancer have abnormal bleeding; usually an office endometrial biopsy is performed.

If you any unusual symptoms are experienced, a number of additional tests such as ultrasound, biopsy or a blood test may be performed by your health care professional to determine if there is a malignancy of any type. 

Treatment

Summa’s comprehensive cancer treatment plan utilizes cutting-edge technology such as:

  • 3D CT imaging
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
  • Minimally invasive surgery

SRS and SBRT provide patients with more precise and non-invasive treatment that is faster and more convenient for the patient. These technologies allow Summa’s radiation oncologists to pinpoint the exact location of a tumor and delver the radiation treatments more directly while decreasing exposure to surrounding tissues.

This advanced technology allows Summa to treat tumors virtually anywhere in the body as well as tumors requiring highly focused precision or those that are medically inoperable. With custom tracking, our oncologists can treat small tumors close to critical organs.

Use of minimally-invasive, robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery allows surgeons to safely perform delicate and complex procedures such as removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Minimally invasive techniques provide benefits to patients, including: less post-operative pain, faster recovery times, less bleeding and less scarring. Minimally invasive robotic surgery may not be the best option for everyone. Your physician can explain all of the options available to treat your condition, including whether you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive robotic surgery.

Learn about Summa’s use of the daVinci robotic-assisted system for minimally invasive surgery.

If chemotherapy treatments are needed, they will be managed by a gynecologic oncologist, something not typically found in other cancer centers. If radiation therapy is required, Summa’s gynecologic oncologists work closely with the radiation oncologists.

All treatment is conducted at Cooper Cancer Center on the campus of Summa Akron City Hospital. Summa Cancer Institute follows nationally established guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for follow-up examinations.

Patients with newly diagnosed cases of gynecologic cancer are seen within 48 hours of referral, and surgery is scheduled soon after.

Find out more about Summa’s gynecologic cancer treatment program and gynecologic cancer screening services.

Our specialists

Summa Health System’s gynecologic oncologists provide personalized, comprehensive and coordinated care to women with gynecologic cancer – from surgery to chemotherapy. As members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Group, they offer patients the most advanced chemotherapy and research protocols – equal to leading national cancer centers.


Stephen J. Andrews, M.D.

  • Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, Summa Health System
  • Fellowship trained at University of Kentucky Medical Center
  • Completed residency at Tripler Army Medical School
  • Medical degree from Case Western University School of Medicine
  • Special clinical interests: gynecology, obstetrics, gynecologic cancer, laparoscopic gynecology surgery, and robotic surgery
  • Office locations:
    • 161 North Forge Street, Ste. 298, Akron, OH 44304
    • 1700 Boettler Road, Ste. 200, Uniontown, OH 44685

Vivian E. von Gruenigen, M.D.

  • System Medical Director, Summa Women’s Health Institute
  • Fellowship trained at University of Texas S.W. Medical Center
  • Completed residency at Summa Akron City Hospital
  • Medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine
  • Special clinical interests: gynecology obstetrics, gynecologic oncology
  • Office locations:
    • 161 North Forge Street, Ste. 298, Akron, OH 44304
    • 3780 Medina Road, Ste. 220, Medina, OH 44256
  • Completed residency at Summa Akron City Hospital
  • Medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine
  • Special clinical interests: gynecology obstetrics, gynecologic oncology
  • Office locations:
    • 161 North Forge Street, Ste. 298, Akron, OH 44304
    • 3780 Medina Road, Ste. 220, Medina, OH 44256

Robin A. Laskey, M.D.

  • Fellowship trained at The University of Pittsburgh
  • Completed residency at Duke University Hospital
  • Medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
  • Special clinical interests: gynecologic cancer, sentinel lymph node mapping for vulvar cancer, laparoscopic gynecologic surgery, and robotic gynecologic surgery
  • Office locations:
    • 161 North Forge Street, Ste. 298, Akron, OH 44304