Gynaecologic oncology is a specialized field of Medicine that focuses on cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovarian, uterine, endometrial, cervical and vulval cancers. Globally, cancer is the leading cause of death accounting for 7.6million deaths (13% of all deaths) in 2008, of which about 70% occurred in low and middle income countries. According to the WHO, Africa accounted for 25.2% of the new cases of cervical cancer, with a mortality rate of 17.6%, while Eastern Africa region accounted for 34.5% incidence and 25.3% mortality respectively in 2008. This presents a marked discrepancy with the developed nations such as Canada which had an incidence of 6.6% and mortality rate of 1.9% respectively of cervical cancer over the same period. Further, WHO predicts that by the year 2020, there will be 16million new cancer cases per year, with 70% of the cases being in the developing world. In 2008, WHO estimated that approximately 2,635 Kenyan women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with 2,111 dying from the disease. This represents an incidence of 17.3%, with a mortality rate of 23.4% of cervical cancer in the country over the same period. This makes it the most prevalent gynaecologic cancer among women in the country.
A reproductive health physician with subspecialty in Gynaecologic Oncology is a subspecialist with expertise in the care of women with gynaecologic malignancies. This encompasses all aspects of cancer care including counseling, screening, diagnosis, radiotherapy, surgical and chemotherapy treatment and end-of-life care.
This affirmative action of training Oncologists aligns well with the New Constitutional dispensation in Kenya by which neglected aspects of health care are to receive greater priority.
The Gynaecologic Oncology curriculum has been developed to meet these goals. The curriculum adheres to the Vision, Mission and Core values of the Department of Reproductive Health in line with the Vision and Mission of Moi University.