Cancer Care

Q & A with Dr. Janet Osborne



Janet Osborne, M.D., of Carilion Clinic Gynecologic Oncology, treats women with gynecologic cancers such as ovarian or uterine cancer.

Why did you choose to become a gynecologic oncologist?

A. In this field, I'm taking care of women at a time in their lives where they're often faced with fear and crisis, and I'm able to help waylay some of those fears and get them through. Many times, I'm able to give happy news - that the surgery we did turned out not to be cancer or turned out to be very early. Other times, we have to give news that is less than ideal. But as a gynecologic oncologist, I'm there for their entire journey. So we not only do their surgery, but we see them afterward for follow-ups and oversee their chemotherapy.

What exactly is gynecologic oncology? And how do you help women?

A. We first do general training in OB/GYN and then we do three extra years of fellowship training that gives us the expertise we need for more advanced surgical problems. We're also trained in the comprehensive, overall treatment with chemotherapy, and working with the radiation oncologists for those patients where radiation is part of their treatment. So it's a very comprehensive care of women with any of the gynecologic cancers..

How does your practice benefit women in southwest Virginia?

A. We are able to do minimally invasive cancer surgeries. We have the technology here to do the robotic, or da Vinci-type systems, so patients who have uterine cancer often have their surgery and go home the next day, which means quicker recoveries..

We're also part of a national gynecologic oncology group that is responsible for all the major clinical trials that essentially become the standard of care for treatment of these cancers. So patients who are under our care have access to the same trials they would if they wanted to travel somewhere far like Duke, Sloan-Kettering in New York, MD Anderson [in Texas], or the Mayo Clinic.

How would you describe your experience here so far?

(Dr. Osborne joined Carilion Clinic in April 2011.)

A. I've been able to join a really great team. My colleague, Dr. Dennis Scribner, is an amazing partner and has made such a big impact in this community. Our nurse practitioner, a key person on our team, helps us oversee our patients with chemotherapy and some of their post-surgical care. We have excellent oncology nurses. I've been really fortunate to walk into an environment that's already been built and be part of the next generation of changes that we're trying to bring here.

For more information on Dr. Osborne or Carilion Clinic Gynecologic Oncology at 1 Riverside Circle in Roanoke, call 540-266-6000 or 800-422-8482.

Carilion Clinic Living
July 26, 2013