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07/23/2014

New Surgeon’s Extensive Robotics Expertise Strengthens Gynecologic Oncology Offerings

Gynecologic oncologist Eloise Chapman-Davis, MD has experienced hospitals where patients aren’t treated as partners in their cancer treatment – they don’t know what what stage the cancer is, why they’re getting chemo or for how long.

That doesn’t happen on her watch.

Fiercely committed to empowering her patients to be active participants in decision-making about their care, she and her nurse practitioner take a great deal of time and care to ensure that patients fully understand their disease and treatment options.

What’s more, when Dr. Chapman-Davis joined Tufts Medical Center last July, her extensive training and experience in minimally invasive surgical approaches using robotics and laparoscopy give women yet another treatment option. Notably, she had performed more than 300 robotic procedures prior to her arrival.

“As many as 80 percent of endometrial and cervical cancers can be treated using minimally invasive robotic techniques,” she says, resulting in less blood loss, shorter hospitalization, quicker recovery and, for patients who need chemotherapy, treatment can begin sooner. Most ovarian cancers and adnexal masses still require open surgery, she notes.

With her expertise, she frequently can offer minimally invasive options even to severely obese patients. “I often can work around multiple comorbid conditions to ensure that surgery won’t cause any further harm,” she says.

Treating some of the most complex gynecologic oncology issues

Dr. Chapman-Davis also focuses on treating complex patients who have persistent HPV resulting in precancerous lesions and high-grade dysplasias, which often result from comorbidities such as immunosuppressive conditions that may compromise their ability to clear precancerous lesions.

“These types of patients can be difficult to treat, which is why community physicians often refer them to us,” she says.

When it comes to treatment, she notes that while surgery may be performed at Tufts Medical Center, patients often can undergo adjuvant therapies closer to home, in collaboration with community-based medical or radiation oncologists. And for patients who have exhausted standard therapies, Tufts Medical Center offers access to Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) clinical trials.

Advocating for women at risk

Dr. Chapman-Davis is a staunch advocate for early detection and prevention among women at high risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers and HPV-related diseases. Genetics play a key role, underscoring the essential need for primary care physicians and general gynecologists to obtain a thorough family history from their patients to guide screening recommendations.

“And not just a history of breast or ovarian cancer, but also gastrointestinal cancers,” she stresses, noting that patients with Lynch syndrome, for example, have a 50 percent increased risk of uterine cancer and 10 to15 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer. When genetic testing is indicated, she notes that today’s tests are less expensive than ever and generally covered by insurance.

She also considers the referring physician an important member of each patient’s care team.

“We keep the primary care provider in the loop and always aware of what’s going on with their patient,” she says.

To make a referral or speak with Dr. Chapman-Davis, please call 617-636-6058.

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