Gynecologic Cancer

The Gynecologic Cancer Program at Hartford Hospital provides women with the best care, treatments, and specialists possible.

Women with suspected gynecologic cancer of any kind (cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, vulva or vagina) need the most advanced surgical procedures and the latest medical treatments available.

Gynecologic cancer surgery for most early-stage cervical and uterine cancers and many ovarian cancers is performed with robotic surgery, for less bleeding and a faster return to normal activities. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists includes the most experienced robotic surgeons in the region. Many gynecologic cancers require radiation treatments as well. These diseases affect many areas of a woman’s health and wellbeing, and patients often have concerns about genetic factors within their family. Our specialists in gynecologic cancers take a comprehensive approach to treating patients and keeping following generations healthy.

Comprehensive Treatments for Women’s Cancers
All newly diagnosed gynecologic oncology cases are presented at our tumor board meetings, where a highly specialized cancer treatment team comes to a consensus on the best plan of care. A gynecologic oncologist coordinates care with a multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists: medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, clinical research nurses and genetic counselors. Supports like integrative therapies, exercise programs supported by the LiveStrong Foundation, and the Look Good/Feel Better appearance and wellness program all help patients get back to the important people and activities in their lives as soon as possible. Whether patients need radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments, palliative care management, or long term follow-up care during survivorship, their care team supports them at every step.


The Most Advanced Treatments for Women's Cancers

Given the unique challenges of gynecologic cancer surgery, your oncologist will involve other experts on your care team as needed. Typically, gynecologic cancers are advanced at the time of diagnosis. Often, the cancer has spread. This is why it is so important to be able to call upon other experienced team members from areas like colorectal surgery, urology, plastic surgery for vulva reconstruction and upper abdominal surgeons.

Advanced Surgical Intervention

When more aggressive surgery is needed to remove advanced tumors, our gynecologic oncologists collaborate with a comprehensive group of surgical subspecialists. From transplant surgeons to interventional radiologists, and even specialized Intensive Care Unit physicians, the supporting care and resources required to treat advanced gynecologic tumors are here.

Chemotherapy

Your gynecologic team works with medical oncologists to determine the best chemotherapy plan for your gynecologic cancer. Chemotherapy is available at several sites throughout the Hartford HealthCare system, so you can be treated close to home.

New oral biologic and intraperitoneal chemotherapy treatments are available for select ovarian cancer patients -- a treatment otherwise difficult to find in our region. We are also participating in a study with Memorial Sloan Kettering on HIPEC – heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy -- given at the time of surgery.

Surgery

Our surgeons use the latest gynecological cancer surgery techniques, including sentinel lymph node dissection for cervical and endometrial and vulvar cancers. For many gynecologic cancers, minimally invasive surgery -- robotic or laparoscopic – offers advantages like a faster recovery, less pain, less bleeding and the ability to either start other treatments or return to regular daily life faster. Our gynecologic oncologists include some of the most experienced robotic surgeons in the region. Other surgical sub-specialists are also available when multidisciplinary surgical treatments are necessary.

Radiation

Our radiation oncologists are experienced in both external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation (brachytherapy) for the management of gynecologic cancers, including endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer.

Specialized approaches to external-beam radiation therapy may include the use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). IMRT enables our physicians to customize the intensity of each radiation beam to conform to specific tumor shapes and sizes. IMRT not only reduces the dosage of radiation to healthy tissues, but also may lessen the risk of side effects. IGRT allows our physicians to maximize the accuracy of the radiation delivery with the assistance high quality X-ray or CAT scan images.

Internal radiation is given using high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, in which high doses of radioactive material are applied through a specialized applicator directly to the tumor.

Clinical Trials

Through our membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Alliance and the National Cancer Institute, we offer several government clinical trials as well as some pharmaceutical/investigator-initiated trials.

Our gynecologic oncologists also care for women who have not been diagnosed with cancer, but who carry genetic mutations that can increases their risk for gynecologic cancers like ovarian and endometrial cancer.

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Patient Resources

The Latest Research in Gynecologic Cancers
Our gynecologic oncology patients have access to the latest clinical trials and cancer research from across the nation. Hartford Hospital is a participating research site within the National Cancer Institute and an active participant in the national Gynecology Oncology Group of the NIH. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has launched a transformative initiative to improve the quality of cancer care and the lives of cancer patients. Hartford HealthCare was selected as a pioneering member of the newly formed Cancer Alliance. Our efforts to reduce gynecologic cancer in the greater Hartford community include prevention and screening programs as well as colposcopy for abnormal Pap smears and hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause.

Additional Resources
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Foundation for Women's Cancer

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Referrals & Payment

Referrals
Our gynecologic oncologists also consult with patients on risk-reducing surgeries for women with genetic susceptibility to gynecologic cancers like ovarian and uterine cancer. For more information, please call 860.972.4341.

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Meet our Gynecologic Cancer Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Bracco, Maureen C., APRN
860.827.6068
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • New Britain
Brown, Amy Kirkpatrick, MD, MPH, FACS
860.972.4341
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Cosin, Jonathan Aaron, MD
860.827.4180
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • New Britain
Einstein, Heather, MD
860.972.4341
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Hartford
  • West Hartford
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Scarpo, Laurie Ellen, APRN
860.972.4341
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Hartford
Schwartz, Peter Edward, MD
203.694.8200
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Meriden
Zhou, Xun Clare, MD
860.827.4180
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • New Britain
  • Meriden
  • Plainville
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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute