I have been getting queries about how to tackle Oncology related topics.
Some people hate reading oncology due to its complexity and staging.
Here is what I did:
I followed two text books- “Obstetrics and Gynaecology: An evidence-based text for MRCOG by David M. Luesley, Philip N. Baker”. This I found to be quiet comprehensive.
And, I believe there is a third edition out too which appears to be much pricier than the second edition. Read up and see what could be the difference.
And OST – which was quite useful, as it was short and precise- but the staging info- make sure they are updated or read the latest updated version.
Latest guidelines and TOGs supplement with the latest information. So read them to get the latest information.
Always be aware of two special cases:
- The pregnant woman with cancer
- The woman with cancer at reproductive age.
Conventional treatment will not be applied and a choice of fertility preservation needs to be considered. So always think- what you would do if the woman is young and wants more children.
Oncology also includes pre malignant conditions. Almost all gynae oncological conditions have a stage of potential malignancy but not yet malignant.
CIN, VIN, Endometrial hyperplasia, Borderline Ovarian Tumors.
- Read and understand the TOC (Test Of Cure) pathway for Cervical pathology –
Invariably comes in exam. Eg: They can give a pap smear sample report and ask the next plan of management.
- Borderline ovarian malignancy is a RCOG favourite- breaking the news, management etc. Be thorough. (TOG)
- Endometrial hyperplasia is a common question as well.
We had it for written and OSCE both. Percentage of cancer that could be present in a sample with complex endometrial hyperplasia. And in structured OSCE, where A PCOS case evolved into a case of endometrial hyperplasia. (TOG)
- VIN is another favourite- we had an OSCE station of this. I was actually going through this TOG article just before the OSCE exam outside the exam hall and guess how lucky I was to get the same thing in the exam. Rattled off the management with class 😉
Please be updated on the latest FIGO staging of all Gynaecological cancers. You need to know the percentage of survival not only in each stage but in sub stage also.
I found a useful link on cancer statistics in the RCOG website :
Hope I didn’t scare you all with what you need to read and know, once you have mastered it, usually a simple revision will revoke the memory.
Let me know if it was useful, it keeps me motivated to provide much value to the community.
[Image: Catrin Austin]