Dr Andre van der Westhuizen is a Specialist in Medical Oncology and a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians. He has dual subspecialty training in Medical Oncology and Medical Genetics and completed a Masters Degree in Internal Medicine and a Masters Degree in Science during his training as a specialist. He holds both a certificate in Medical Genetics and Medical Oncology of the College of Physicians of South Africa and was awarded the College of Medicine of South Africa Medal for outstanding performance in the final subspecialty examinations in Medical Genetics. He has an interest in Cancer Genetics and in aspects of Translational Research as it pertains to molecular medicine and clinical cancer research. He plays a central role in advising patients about the genetic aspects of their malignancy - this does not only involve inherited cancers, but also sporadic cancers and how testing can be used to plan treatment. His MSc in Genetic Counselling has helped him to understand how patients deal with serious life events and has enabled him to walk patients through the process of coming to terms with their diagnosis.
Dr van der Westhuizen's interests are in all solid tumour malignancies, but he focuses on gastrointestinal malignancies, breast cancer and melanoma at the Calvary Mater Hospital where he holds a Staff Specialist position in Medical Oncology. He consults at the Hunter Cancer Centre at Lake Macquarie Private hospital on a weekly basis. He is a principle and co-investigator on clinical trials at both these sites and is involved in pre- and postgraduate training and in clinical and translational research. He is also a member of several national clinical trials groups.
Dr van der Westhuizen is currently actively involved in establishing integrative oncology services in the Hunter region to complement conventional treatments in Oncology. These include evidence based complementary therapies and support systems aimed at enhancing quality of life during and after treatment. He is of the strong opinion that there should be a whole person approach to Oncology in order to improve quality of life and help patients to find the best way of dealing with the difficulties of cancer treatment and with living with a cancer diagnosis.