Women’s Cancer Care
Power is resources designed for women
West Michigan Cancer Center’s resources heal womens’ bodies, minds, and spirits. Dedicated programs include gynecologic oncology, a breast cancer clinic and genetic counseling to ensure a woman is surrounded by focused expertise and support. In addition, WMCC offers patients education, group support, classes, coaching, nutrition counseling, massage, and physical fitness programs like healing yoga, tai chi and more. Patients and their families are encouraged to utilize our professional on-staff counselors, social workers, and dietitians to maximize treatment benefits.
Gynecologic Oncology Program
WMCC was the first cancer center in the region to create a dedicated gynecologic oncology service with a resident gynecologic oncologist. Our program provides comprehensive consultation and treatment for all female genital malignancies. Pre-treatment evaluation is carried out in conjunction with radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and individualized selection is made for the most appropriate therapy. All treatment modalities are available under one roof, including immunotherapy, laparoscopic staging for cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery, noninvasive removal of tumors, and the latest chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapies. Better technology provides earlier and more discriminating detection, improved treatment efficacy, less-invasive procedures, and less debilitating or disfiguring treatments
Breast Cancer Clinic
This clinic provides a unique, multidisciplinary approach to treating breast cancer. Cases are discussed in a collaborative meeting with physicians and other healthcare providers. This allows the healthcare team to share expertise and offer you a collaborative, customized treatment recommendation. You have the advantage of not only a second opinion but a third, fourth, or more, as a result of this team meeting.
In addition, access to the most up-to-date research is available. Cases are reviewed by a clinical trials nurse who will determine if a clinical trial is available to you. Clinical trials available may range from the latest chemotherapy drugs to hormone therapy to genetic screening for women at high risk to other therapies. Our plan of care is to offer you the most state-of-the-art treatment in your own community.
WMCC is proud to offer a wide range of genetic services from counseling and testing to research studies. Prevention and early detection make cancer treatable and beatable.
Cancer is a common disease. However, some people have a greater chance of developing cancer. This may be due to gene changes that can be passed on through the family. Inherited gene changes are responsible for 5-10% of all cancers. A careful review of your personal and family history will help determine whether cancer might be hereditary in your family.
Power is having the best and the brightest
WMCC has assembled the best team of women’s cancer doctors anywhere, including experts in radiation therapy and chemotherapy for breast cancer, as well as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy for gynecologic cancers. WMCC is still the only regional facility to offer diagnostic imaging, radiation, chemotherapy and professional consults under one roof.
We have two gynecologic oncologists.
Angela Caffrey, MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, gynecologic oncology and hospice & palliative care. Dr. Caffrey began performing robotic surgical procedures in 2007. In the past decade, she has participated with several medical short-term missions teams and has an ongoing commitment to teach and operate at a mission hospital in Africa.
Anna Hoekstra, MD, a West Michigan native, joined West Michigan Cancer Center in 2009 and has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery for endometrial and ovarian cancer. She has performed more than 220 robotic surgeries using the daVinci Surgical System. In addition, she provides open and vaginal surgery for other gynecologic malignancies. She also administers chemotherapy and coordinates radiation treatments with WMCC radiation oncology for patients requiring these services.
Carol Christianson, MS, CGC is a board certified Genetic Counselor and a West Michigan native. She sees patients in the Cancer Genetics Program who are at increased risk to have a hereditary cancer syndrome. Carol has 26 years of experience as a genetic counselor. Her responsibilities include taking detailed family histories, counseling patients about their risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome, coordinating testing, providing follow-up, and serving as a resource for patients and providers in the community who have questions about cancer genetics.
Power is a dedicated team
Our patients are better served because WMCC’s treatment specialists stay connected to the patient’s primary care physician. Pre-treatment evaluation is a shared responsibility between a patient’s referring physician and the Center’s treatment oncologists. Together with your doctor, we are establishing optimal treatment plans. As survival rates improve, many cancers are now regarded as chronic conditions. We value our partnership with your doctor to manage these new challenges.
Power is seeing the way through
Getting started well often helps a patient finish well. Our multidisciplinary approach creates a smooth patient treatment path, creating a clear and confident expectation that reduces patient stress, eliminates ambiguity, and improves outlooks and outcomes. Patients are provided with a treatment plan after just one meeting with the specialist team, and are able to begin working their plan immediately. Successful cancer treatment begins by helping patients see the light at the end of the tunnel.