About Dr. Shanel Bhawgwandin
Dr. Bhagwandin is a medical oncologist and the Medical Director of the Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology Program at the Jupiter Medical Center and the Medical Director of the Surgical Oncology Network Development at Mount Sinai Hospital. He studies, diagnoses and treats a variety of gastrointestinal cancers and complex cancers of the liver, pancreas and biliary tract.
He believes that a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. Having multiple experts treat the patient is crucial because of the many ways the disease can present and spread through the patient’s body. Patients working with him can trust that his kind demeanor is not a façade, but that he genuinely cares about the people he works with.
He believes it is vital for him to advocate for his patients, as well as give them the health literacy they require to advocate for themselves.
“A subtle distinction between surgical oncologists and other surgical specialties is our underlying training in oncology that marries the technical feasibility with an understanding of the biology of the disease.” — Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
One of Dr. Bhagwandin’s specializations is cytoreduction with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for peritoneal mesothelioma. Cytoreduction is the process of surgically removing as much of the visible tumor from the abdomen as possible. It’s then followed by HIPEC—a heated chemotherapy cocktail added directly to the abdominal cavity after surgery so the drugs can kill cancerous cells that may have been left behind.
Dr. Bhawgwandin’s Location
Patients interested in working with Dr. Bhagwandin can reach him at:
Office of Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin – General Surgery
Jupiter Medical Center
1002 S Old Dixie Hwy, Ste 303
Jupiter, FL 33458
Dr. Bhagwandin’s Career Highlights
Dr. Bhagwandin has dedicated his career to treating gastrointestinal cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma. He also believes it’s important for patients to receive care close to their homes, which is why he moved to Florida.
Right now, Dr. Bhagwandin is the only surgical oncologist who has been trained to treat peritoneal mesothelioma at the Jupiter Medical Center.
Since moving to Florida, Dr. Bhagwandin has brought hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to the Jupiter Medical Center, to allow the Center to better treat the mesothelioma cases they see.
Dr. Bhagwandin’s Background
Dr. Bhagwandin obtained his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. Once he had his MD, Dr. Bhagwandin moved to New York where he completed his internship at The Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
From there, he moved to The University of Illinois at Chicago for his residency. Finally, he moved back to New York to participate in a fellowship at The Ichan School of Medicine. As a result of his hard work and education, Dr. Bhagwandin is board-certified in both general surgery and complex general surgical oncology.
“Variety is one of the primary reasons I was attracted to my specialty: On any given day, we perform a liver or pancreatic resection or an extremity sarcoma excision or deliver heated chemotherapy into the abdomen for advanced peritoneal malignancies.” — Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
In addition to his work as a surgeon, Dr. Bhagwandin is also an assistant professor for the Department of Surgery’s surgical oncology division at The Icahn School of Medicine. Here he teaches the next generation of doctors how to perform procedures such as a cytoreduction with HIPEC. He encourages students to think outside of the box so they can come up with new and innovative ways to improve current procedures or create new cancer treatments.
Dr. Bhagwandin is a member of several different professional organizations:
- Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO)
- Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA)
- American College of Surgery (ACS)
Dr. Bhagwandin’s Current Work
Dr. Bhagwandin is affiliated with 2 hospitals:
- Jupiter Medical Center in Florida—Medical Director of the Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology Program
- The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York—Medical Director of the Surgical Oncology Network Development.
Because the Jupiter Medical Center has such skilled surgical and gastrointestinal surgical teams, the hospital has been awarded both the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Gastrointestinal Care Award and the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for General Surgery Award twice.
Like many surgical oncologists, Dr. Bhagwandin’s work involves a myriad of partnerships with other specialists and experts within the oncology program.
“My interests and training are solidified by the collaborative relationships we have with multiple specialties, such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, and therapeutic interventional radiologists. Through this complex approach to oncology care, I am challenged by the patients referred to us following a devastatingly new diagnosis of cancer with hopes of a cure.” — Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
Dr. Bhagwandin’s Healing Philosophy
Dr. Bhagwandin believes it’s imperative for a surgical oncologist to be informative and comforting to his patients, which is why he strives to be kind and nonjudgmental with every patient he works with. He considers this approach to be especially important the first time he meets a new patient after they have received their diagnosis.
To Dr. Bhagwandin, it’s unacceptable for a patient to have their cancer come back or spread only three months after they have undergone surgery. But because he knows that a patient’s first instinct is to want the tumor removed immediately, he recognizes how important it is to take time to go over the treatment options.
“When patients are referred to a surgical oncologist, there has been very little opportunity for them to accept a recent cancer diagnosis. The denial, the rationalization of blame, compounded by any attempt to explain to their loved ones what may be going on, is only about to become even more complicated. I firmly believe it’s important to take a step back, recognize there is a person in front of you, and address any obvious misconceptions before proceeding.” — Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
He takes his time to carefully discuss how aggressive mesothelioma is and which treatments he feels would be better. Depending on the conversation with the individual patient, they may decide it’s better to start with chemotherapy or radiation to shrink the tumor or kill cells that have split off before undergoing surgery. Or they may choose to start with cytoreduction with HIPEC.