Breast Cancer Team

Women Treating Women

Gynecologic Oncologists are unlike any other cancer doctors. They treat only women’s intimate cancers: cancers of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and placenta.

They manage the entire cancer journey from diagnosis through treatment, follow up care and survivorship. A Gynecologic Oncologist administers chemotherapy, performs surgery, and brings in other providers such as cancer genetic counselors and oncology social workers.

Gynecologic oncologists are the only cancer doctors who are trained in chemotherapy and surgery.

Our Gynecologic Oncology team conducts research and designs clinical trials. They lead national clinical trials teams and bring national clinical trials to New Mexico.

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Meet the Gynecologic Oncology Team

Gynecologic Oncologists

... focus only on cancers of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina/vulva and placenta. They use robotic and other minimally-invasive surgery methods and can perform radical pelvic surgeries, too. They use chemotherapy, immune therapies and targeted therapies. They work closely with cancer genetic counselors and oncology social workers from diagnosis through survivorship. And they manage clinical trials.

The Gynecologic Oncology team at UNM participates in the design of clinical trials based on their own research. They also take part in national clinical research programs and lead some national teams, bringing other national clinical trials to New Mexico. Clinical trials are integral to improving treatment because they lead to higher standards of care.

We operate on patients so we see the tumor,
we feel the tumor, we understand it
in a different way to be able to do the science and
fit the chemotherapy treatments to that person.

– Caroline Muller, MD, FACOG
Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology

Women’s Cancer Center
at UNM

The UNM Women’s Cancer Center at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center is now open. Our new center provides a soothing, healing space dedicated to the needs of women and their families.

The center offers medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, gynecologic oncology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, genetic counseling providers, and other services in one convenient space.

Radiation Oncologists

... manage the dose and path of radiation that targets cancer tumors in the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vulva/vagina and placenta. They use stereotactic body radiation, stereotactic radiosurgery and intensity modulated radiation therapy.

The only two licensed cancer genetic counselors in New Mexico are at the UNM Cancer Center, making cancer genetic consultation and testing available to our patients.

Jamina Oomen-Hajagos, PhD, MS, LCGC

Jamina Oomen-Hajagos, PhD, MS, LCGC

Shawnia Ryan, MS, CGC

Shawnia Ryan, MS, CGC

Cancer Genetic Counselors

... help clients learn about their risk of getting cancer based on the clients and their family’s medical history. The counseling may lead to genetic testing of the client or members of their family.

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Edwina Garcia, MSPAS, PA-C

Edwina Garcia, MSPAS, PA-C

Physician Assistants

... may take medical histories, perform medical exams, give medications or injections, or perform certain medical procedures under the guidance of a physician.

Evidence shows that the immune system recognizes ovarian cancers associated with BRCA gene mutations. We developed a treatment protocol specifically targeting these tumors with immune therapy and offer this regimen to patients at the UNM Cancer Center through a clinical trial. Our ongoing work focuses on expanding this protocol
so that we can help the most women with ovarian cancer.

– Sarah Adams, MD, describing original research
that led to a major clinical trial that uses immune therapy.