The subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology was created in the 1970s. Prior to that time, there existed poor, if any, integrated care of women with pelvic malignancies.
This group of malignancies often require a multi-modality approach with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Without a "captain of the ship" the coordination of evaluation and treatment was quite difficult and prone to error.
Out of this confusion arose the field of Gynecologic Oncology as a subspecialty of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Of all cancer subspecialists the Gynecologic Oncologist is uniquely qualified to perform any required surgical procedure, administer chemotherapy, and integrate radiation treatments into the management of pelvic malignancies in women.
Eligibility for Board Certification in this subspecialty requires 9-10 years of training and independent practice after Medical School graduation. He/she is subsequently recognized as an expert in the management of cancers and their precursor states unique to the female pelvis (vulvar, vaginal, cervical, uterine, fallopian tube, ovarian).