Women’s Cancer Care

//Women’s Cancer Care
Women’s Cancer Care2018-07-24T10:26:09+00:00

Power is resources designed for women

Anna V. Hoekstra, MD, MPH

Anna V. Hoekstra, MD, MPH

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,  nutrition counseling and wellness options including Survivorcise exercise class and SurvivorWise cooking class. Patients and their families are encouraged to utilize our professional, licensed medical 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.

For more information about the Breast Cancer Clinic, click here.

Genetic Counseling

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.

For more information about out Genetic Counseling program, click here.

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.

Anna Hoekstra, MD, and Benjamin Mize, MD have expertise in minimally invasive surgery and comprehensive care for women with gynecologic malignancies including cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva and vagina.  Dr. Hoekstra and Dr. Mize have performed hundreds of robotic surgeries using the daVinci Surgical System. In addition, they provide open and vaginal surgery for other gynecologic malignancies. They also administer chemotherapy and coordinate radiation treatments with WMCC radiation oncology for patients requiring these services.

Dr. Hoekstra earned her medical degree from Rush University in Chicago and a master of public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Northwestern University.  Dr. Hoekstra is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology.

Dr. Mize earned his medical degree from the University of Texas in Houston.  He completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at SUNY Downtown Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.  Dr. Mize is board eligible in obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology.

Carol Christianson, MS, CGC and Cyndy Murray, MS, CGC are board-certified genetic counselors. They see patients in the WMCC Cancer Genetics Program who are at increased risk to have a hereditary cancer syndrome. Their responsibilities include taking detailed family histories and counseling patients. They coordinate testing, provide follow-up and serve as a resource for patients and providers in the community who have questions about cancer genetics.

Carol Christianson, MS, CGC

Carol Christianson, MS, CGC, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Michigan Technological University and a Master of Science degree in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. She has worked as a genetic counselor for more than 30 years and has expertise in gastroenterologic and gynecologic hereditary cancer syndromes.

Cyndy Murray, MS CGC, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College and a Master of Science degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.  She has worked as a genetic counselor for more than 12 years and has expertise in hereditary breast cancer syndromes.


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.