Ask the Doctor: Dr. Nimesh Nagarsheth

Nimesh Nagarsheth, MD, director of gynecologic oncology, practices gynecology, and gynecologic oncology at Englewood Health. Each year in September, we recognize Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month— a good time for women of all ages to learn more about the cancers that affect the cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and vulva. Raising awareness about cancers that occur “below the belt” in women is vital, as the key to survival is early detection and medical intervention. Until recently, public awareness of gynecologic cancers has been low, as many are uncomfortable talking about women’s reproductive health.

If a woman is diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, what are her treatment options?

Dr. Nagarsheth: Treatment options depend on the type and stage of cancer; they may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these. At Englewood Health, we take a multidisciplinary approach to cancer. We customize the treatment plan in tandem with the patient, so every patient receives the most appropriate treatment.

Truth or myth: If you contract HPV, you will eventually get cervical cancer.

Dr. Nagarsheth: Myth. Not every patient with HPV develops cervical cancer. Though most cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, the majority of women with HPV do not develop cervical cancer. We’re in the process of learning why some patients with HPV are more susceptible than others to cervical cancer.

How is ovarian cancer typically detected?

Dr. Nagarsheth: There is no good screening process for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, it is typically detected in its more advanced stages, when patients come to us with symptoms that are secondary to the ovaries having become enlarged or the tumor having spread. Patients frequently report intestinal discomfort, abdominal pain—symptoms of that nature.

Truth or myth: Young women don’t need to be concerned about gynecologic cancers.

Dr. Nagarsheth: Myth. Every woman, no matter her age, should know the warning signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancer. If not for yourself, then for the women around you. Problems such as postmenopausal bleeding, persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention should never be ignored. It’s all about knowing what is normal for your body and then taking action when something seems off.

Posted September 2018

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