Surgical oncology is the treatment of cancer with surgical procedures.  A surgical oncologist removes the tumor and nearby tissue during an operation and also performs certain types of biopsies.  For some patients, surgery is the only treatment needed.  For others, the surgical oncologist may recommend surgery in combination with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

The surgical oncology program at West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders is headed by Dr. Gitonga Munene.  Dr. Munene is a board-certified, fellowship-trained gastrointestinal surgical oncologist who specializes in a broad spectrum of complex surgical interventions

Dr. Munene treats patients with benign and malignant tumors by providing surgery for:

  • Gastrointestinal cancers
    • Gastric
    • Hepatobiliary
    • Pancreatic
    • Metastatic colon
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

He also specializes in the treatment of peritoneal-based malignancies using hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Multidisciplinary GI Conference

For patients with gastrointestinal cancers, we bring together a highly specialized team to rapidly evaluate each case and develop a consensus treatment plan. This is called a multidisciplinary conference.  The purpose is to help speed up the time from diagnosis to treatment.   This comprehensive conference includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, a genetic counselor, clinical trials nurses, social workers, dietitians and a clinic coordinator.

Accreditation by the National Pancreas Foundation

WMCC’s surgical oncology program is accredited by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF).  Accreditation carries the assurance that the accredited center program has access to the resources of the Foundation, including the National Patient Registry, the Animated Pancreas Patient, State Chapter support and partnership, educational meetings and materials and participation and representation in various medical and scientific activities of the NPF.

Gitonga Munene, MD