Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology


Janelle N. Sobecki, MD
Assistant Professor (CHS)
Gynecologic Oncology

Office Address
Meriter Hospital, Room: 5-East
202 S. Park (Meriter)
Madison, WI, 53715

Administrative Assistant
Colleen Rohde-Szudy

Sobecki to present Healthy Women Community Talk “Sex and Cancer: A Candid Discussion”

Cancer treatment may result in a variety of physical and emotional side effects. Sometimes, these side effects might change our ability to have or enjoy sex. For some, it may be challenging to discuss these issues with a medical provider.

Janelle Sobecki, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and physician assistant Lori Seabourne will present free, virtual community talk focused on sexual health after cancer on September 29, 2022 at 6:30pm. Register to attend “Sex and Cancer: A Candid Discussion” now!

During the talk, experts from the UW Health Women's Integrative Sexual Health (WISH) Clinic will give an overview of changes in sexual health after cancer, offer tips for talking to your health care team about sexual changes after cancer, discuss how to navigate sexual health concerns during and after cancer, and share resources to support you through sexual health changes after cancer. 

The event will include breakout sessions, giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions and discuss sexual health issues specific to different types of cancer. 

Sign up for the event here! Please share this invitation with anyone who may be interested in learning more about sexual health and cancer.

Sobecki earns GOG Foundation New Investigator Award

Congratulations to Janelle Sobecki, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology! Sobecki earned the 2022 GOG Foundation New Investigator Award.

The GOG Foundation’s New Investigator Award supports attendance of the NRG Oncology Semiannual Meeting, coming up in Chicago July 21-23, 2022.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Dr. Sobecki!

Grand Rounds: Badger Bytes presentations on UW Ob-Gyn and Sexual Health Research

On May 12, 2022, several presenters shared updates on sexual health research and resources in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn during the Badger Bytes Grand Rounds presentation “UW Ob-Gyn and Sexual Health Research”.

The six presentations were:

Sex Therapy: Understanding Its Utility in Improving Patient Outcomes (presented by Madelyn Esposito-Smith, LPC)

Choosing the Right Vaginal Moisturizer and Lubricants for Your Patients (presented by Jon Pennycuff, MD, MSPH)

DaneMAC Mobile Forensic Nurse Exams – University Health Services (presented by Mary Landry, MD)

Cancer and Sexual Health: Clinical Need and Outcome Measures (presented by Joanne Rash, PA-C)

Cancer and Sexual Health: Collaborative Academic Partnership (presented by Janelle Sobecki, MD)

Cancer and Sexual Health: Setting Standards and Generating Evidence (presented by David Kushner, MD)

Watch the whole Badger Bytes presentation here!

Sobecki presents Grand Rounds to U Buffalo Department of Ob-Gyn

Janelle Sobecki, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology, presented at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Rounds on May 11, 2022!

In the lecture “Assessing Bone Health and Osteoporosis Risk in OB/GYN Practice”, Sobecki helped members of the U Buffalo Department of Ob-Gyn learn about preventative measures and major risk factors for bone loss in pre- and post-menopausal women and how to assess osteoporosis risk and osteoporosis screening needs in women presenting for gynecologic care.

Incredible work, Dr. Sobecki!

Sobecki earns grant for osteoporosis screening project

Congratulations to Janelle Sobecki, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology! Sobecki received a grant from the University of Wisconsin–Madison American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant review committee for the project “Bone Health and Osteoporosis Screening in Gynecologic Cancer Survivors”.

The $50,000 grant runs from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Sobecki has been investigating bone health in gynecologic cancer survivors for a while – she presented “Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Gynecologic Cancer Patients” at the 2021 UW Ob-Gyn Department Research Day, and published “Opportunistic osteoporosis screening using routine computed tomography images to identify bone loss in gynecologic cancer survivors” in the International Journal of Gynecologic Oncology earlier this year.

Incredible work, Dr. Sobecki!

UW Ob-Gyn presentations at 2022 Society of Gynecologic Oncology conference

Members of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology, fellows and residents prepared an impressive slate of posters and presentations for the 2022 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer! Take a look at just some of the research brought to the hybrid conference, as well as the variety of service and leadership roles held by members of our department:

Ahmed Al-Niaimi, MD:

Master Class: Optimize and Operate: Enhancing Perioperative Quality, Safety, Experience, and Outcomes

Master Class: Debulk and Deliver: A Virtual Live-Streamed Master Class with Optional Hands-On Cytoreductive Surgery Lab 

Oral Plenary Presentation: Mechanical bowel preparation and post-operative renal dysfunction in patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer

Lisa Barroilhet, MD, MS:

Distillation: On-Demand Oral Featured Posters: Novel Therapies, PROs, and Disparities in Care

Special Interest Session: Curriculum for Emerging Clinical Trialists (Dr. Barroilhet is course director for this session)

Vice-Chair of the Patient Education Committee

Katherine Dryer, MD:

Poster: Outpatient palliative care utilization and aggressiveness of end-of-life care in women with gynecologic cancers (authors Kathryn Dryer MD, Janelle Sobecki MD, Michael Lasarev MS, Lena Law BA, Anna Stecher MD, Ellen Hartenbach MD)

Maya Gross, MD, MPH:

Poster: Risk factors associated with distress among postoperative patients in an academic gynecologic oncology practice

Ellen Hartenbach, MD:

Symposium: Wake to Wellness: Beating Burnout Through Better Patient Communication (Hartenbach presented “Mitigating Burnout Through Effective Communication Techniques”)

Palliative Medicine Committee 

Clinical Practice Committee

David Kushner, MD:

Finance Committee

Wellness Committee (Chair)

Developed two “Wake to Wellness” Sessions based on SGO Wellness Curriculum that was just published:

Managing Priorities 

Moving from Surviving to Thriving (Kushner will present as part of this session)

Senior author on Surgical Innovation presentation “Beneath the Surface: Fluorescein mapping in vulvar Paget’s Disease” given by Gyn Onc fellow Catherine Zhang, MD

Joanne Rash, PA:

Attending the SGO Board meeting (virtually), and will start her board term as the first-ever APP representative on the SGO board

Stephen Rose, MD:

Co-Chair of the Fellowship Program Directors Network and will be leading the annual meeting Thursday night. 

Hosting the UW Fellow Alumni Reception Sunday night

Senior author on Connor Wang’s study: Adaptive and maladaptive humor styles are closely associated with burnout and professional fulfillment in members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology

Shannon Rush, MD:

Poster: Hormone replacement therapy counseling at prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in high risk patients

Janelle Sobecki, MD:

Poster: Risk factors associated with distress among postoperative patients in an academic gynecologic oncology practice (Maya Gross, Sumer Wallace - Senior)

Poster: Outpatient Palliative Care Utilization and Aggressiveness of End-of-Life Care in Women with Gynecologic Cancers (Kathryn Dryer, Ellen Hartenbach – Senior)

Sumer Wallace, MD:

Serves on Policy, Quality, & Outcomes task force for the Health Policy and Socioeconomic committee

Connor Wang, MD:

Poster: Adaptive and maladaptive humor styles are closely associated with burnout and professional fulfillment in members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology

Catherine Zhang, MD:

Poster: Thromboembolic events in gynecologic cancer patients treated with chemotherapy (authors R. Zhang, MD; T. Stewart, BS; K. Tetreault, MS; R. Alexandridis, PhD; J. Bergsbaken, PharmD;  S. Wallace, MD; D. Kushner, MD;E. Hartenbach, MD)

Farr Nezhat Session Surgical Innovation Session: How Surgical Futurists are Revolutionizing Cancer Care (Zhang presented “Beneath the Surface: Fluorescein mapping in vulvar Paget’s Disease”)

Congratulations to all for these incredible achievements!

Sobecki published in International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer

Janelle Sobecki, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology, is lead author on a new study published in the International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer!

In “Opportunistic osteoporosis screening using routine computed tomography images to identify bone loss in gynecologic cancer survivors”, Sobecki and co-authors (including gynecologic oncology faculty Lisa Barroilhet, MD, MS, Ellen Hartenbach, MD, and resident India Anderson-Carter, MD, PGY-2) examined bone loss in a retrospective cohort of people who underwent oophorectomy for gynecologic cancer. The total sample of 185 patients showed significant changes in bone mineral density over time:

“Women with gynecologic cancers may experience accelerated cancer treatment-induced bone loss. Routine CT imaging is a convenient screening modality to identify those at highest risk for osteoporosis who warrant further evaluation with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Routine bone mineral density assessments 1 year following oophorectomy for cancer treatment may be warranted in this population.”

Read the whole study here.

Sobecki earns BIRCWH award

Huge congratulations to UW Ob-Gyn gynecologic oncology fellow and soon to be member of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology faculty Janelle Sobecki, MD!

Sobecki was recently awarded a spot in the UW Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program, which will support her continuing her work on osteoporosis in gynecologic cancer patients. This grant is an important step in a successful research career.

Congratulations on this incredible honor, Dr. Sobecki!

Grand Rounds: Department Research Day

On May 13, 2021, the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology hosted Department Research Day, featuring exceptional presentations on fundamental, clinical, and quality improvement research. Recorded presentations from Department Research Day are available now.

To start the morning, Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH of Cedars-Sinai Obstetrics and Gynecology Department presented the keynote lecture “Patient Reported Outcomes in Ob/Gyn: What are they? Who Cares? And Why?”.

In the lecture, Gregory differentiated between three measures of patient outcomes, outlined types of patient-reported outcomes used in ob-gyn clinical care, and described how these measures can drive quality improvement efforts.

Other presentations at Department Research Day included:

“Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Gynecologic Cancer Patients”, presented by graduating gynecologic oncology fellow Janelle Sobecki, MD, MA

“Connecting the Dots: The Role of Endothelial-Immune Interaction in the Pathophysiology of Preeclampsia”, presented by Derek Boeldt, PhD, of the Division of Reproductive Sciences

“Post-Cesarean Pain”, presented by Katie Antony, MD, of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine

You can watch the lectures from Department Research Day here.

WISH Clinic team publishes article in Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology

A new article co-authored by Joanne Rash, PA-C, Megan Peterson, DNP, Janelle Sobecki, MD, and David Kushner, MD was published in the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology!

Development, Implementation, and Patient Perspectives of the Women’s Integrative Sexual Health Program: A Program Designed to Address the Sexual Side Effects of Cancer Treatment” outlines the creation of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Women’s Integrative Sexual Health Clinic, which was created in 2013 by Rash and Lori Seabourne, PA-C. The publication also shares results from a patient experience survey:

“When asked how helpful their experience in the WISH program was, 99 of 113 (88%) reported that it was at least somewhat helpful. Seventy-five out of 110 (68%) said their experience in the WISH program improved their overall sexual function. Eighty out of 112 (71%) thought their sexual function would be worse if they had not been seen in the WISH program. Almost all (95%) reported they would recommend the WISH program to other women.”

Read the whole publication here. Congratulations to the WISH team!

Sobecki published in Gynecologic Oncology Reports

UW Ob-Gyn Gynecologic Oncology fellow (and soon-to-be Division of Gynecologic Oncology faculty member) Janelle Sobecki, MD published a new case report in Gynecologic Oncology Reports. UW Ob-Gyn resident Kathryn Dryer, MD, PGY-2, and Ryan Spencer, MD co-authored the article.

BRCA-2 (+) high-grade serous fallopian tube cancer diagnosed as an isolated breast mass by mammography” outlines an uncommon case, with only about 100 cases of metastatic ovarian cancer to the breast reported in the literature:

“Oligometastases of ovarian carcinoma to the breast are incredibly rare and offer a diagnostic challenge. In our case, comprehensive pathologic and radiologic work-up were crucial to the appropriate diagnosis of an advanced stage high-grade serous carcinoma of the fallopian tube. Once diagnosed, standard of care surgical staging and adjuvant therapy were utilized to successfully treat this patient who remains on maintenance PARP therapy without evidence of disease 24 months following her surgical staging procedure.”

Read the whole case study here. Congratulations to Dr. Sobecki and the publication team!

Sobecki published in Gynecologic Oncology

UW Ob-Gyn fellow (and soon to be faculty) in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology Janelle Sobecki, MD published an article in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

In the article “Bone health and osteoporosis screening in gynecologic cancer survivors”, Sobecki and co-authors Ellen Hartenbach, MD and Laurel Rice, MD review available data of bone health in women with gynecologic cancer, summarize osteoporosis screening guidelines, and offer guidance for osteoporosis screening in women with gynecologic cancer:

Awareness of the risk of osteoporosis in this population should encourage providers to routinely and thoroughly evaluate bone health. Timely osteoporosis screening allows for initiation of meaningful interventions that can prevent fracture and decrease morbidity in those at highest risk. Future research should aim to investigate the independent effects of adjuvant therapies on bone loss, particularly that of chemotherapy and hormonal therapies where data are lacking. An evidence-based approach to screening for osteoporosis in gynecologic cancer survivors can meaningfully prevent treatment-induced bone loss in female pelvic cancer survivors.”

Read the whole article here. Amazing work, Dr. Sobecki!

Welcome Sobecki to Gyn Onc faculty!

Happy news out of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology! When Janelle Sobecki, MD, current third-year fellow in gynecologic oncology, finishes her fellowship in 2021, she will join our faculty.

Sobecki received her master’s degree in Medical Science from Boston University, her Doctor of Medicine from Wayne State University and completed her Ob-Gyn Residency at Northwestern University. She has a national reputation for her work in sexual health. As a member of the faculty, she will be developing our clinical trial program around quality of life in gynecologic cancer as well as augmenting our sexual health research program.

We are so thrilled to welcome Dr. Sobecki to the Division of Gynecologic Oncology faculty!