About Us

Our mission is to provide our patients and their families with the highest quality medical care available anywhere in the world by treating the whole person both during and after cancer treatment.

We believe maintaining our patient’s dignity is the cornerstone of rebuilding their health. The word ‘doctor’ comes from the Latin word for ‘teacher’ and we believe that is our first and most important role to teach our patients about their bodies, their disease and the various treatment options. We work with our patients to develop individualized treatment plans to fit their needs and desires. We respect those who choose to take the ‘less is more’ route for care, as well as those who choose to proceed with more aggressive treatment. When surgery is necessary, we strive to provide the least invasive procedure to shorten recovery times and minimize discomfort to our patients while still providing the most effective outcomes. When traditional treatments have failed, we believe in offering our patients the opportunity to participate in cutting edge clinical trials and collaborate with a robust network of physicians and institutions conducting clinical trials in addition to conducting our own innovative trials. We understand the problems that cancer can cause continue long after treatment is over and have programs to alleviate the long term social, mental, and physical problems caused by cancer and the treatment of cancer. Through diagnosis, treatment, and long after treatment is over we continue to work with our patients to maintain their dignity and maximize their health so they can live full, productive and happy lives.

To make surgery easier for our patients and their families and improve access to care we travel to most hospitals in the greater Bay Area, from as far south as Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula to as far north as Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. We accept most insurances and are always accepting new patients. Dr. Lilja and Dr. Volpe are both proficient in Spanish and Dr. Lin is a native of Taiwan and is fluent in Mandarin.

Meet the Staff

Our experienced team is here to help you navigate the sometimes complicated process that is between you and getting well.

  • James Lilja, M.D.

    I am a board certified gynecologic oncologist specializing in the treatment of cancerous and precancerous conditions of the female reproductive tract. I received my medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to the University of Texas at Houston-MD Anderson Cancer Center for internship and residency. Following my residency, I did my fellowship training in gynecologic oncology at the University of Michigan.

    When an operation for cancer or pre cancer is required, I try to incorporate minimally invasive techniques (vaginal, laparoscopic, or robotic) to minimize the recovery time and discomfort for patients and their families. I perform hundreds of these procedures every year. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, you may already know the multiple treatment options—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hyperthermia—that are often needed. I am honored to help you navigate a sometimes confusing and frustrating road to health.

    In addition, since finishing my training, I have been committed to the development of innovative and safe treatments for advanced and refractory cancer. I am Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Verthermia Inc, a medical device company investigating new treatments for metastatic cancer utilizing heat to stimulate the body’s own immune response. I am also co-principal investigator in a clinical trial using intra-abdominal heating for treating cancer within the abdominal cavity.

    Undergraduate: UCLA
    Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
    Residency: University of Texas at Houston/MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Galloway Rotating Residency: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Fellowship: University of Michigan
    Languages: English, Spanish
    Interests: Robotic Surgery, HIPEC for recurrent malignancy

  • Jeff F. Lin, M.D.

    I am a board-certified gynecologic oncologist and come from a family of strong, caring, resilient women – from my mother who didn’t know much English but immigrated with my sister and myself to southern California for our better future, to my aunt Jennifer who started with a college degree and a passion, and built a chain of computer stores, to my aunt Judy whose passion for dance and the arts we thought had taken a backseat to my uncle’s career in the oil refineries in Oklahoma but in fact was able to flourish as a tai chi instructor and introduced tai chi to a brand new population. They serve as my foundation and as a gynecologic oncologist I often see the same strength, resilience and drive in my patients, whether it’s the elderly patient who is fighting ovarian cancer and at the same time tending to her partner’s dementia, or the young mother scheduling her surgery around the time of her kid’s school breaks, or the mid-life executive managing to keep it all together. I believe that my patients want to do the best for themselves and their loved ones and that my role should be a guide in offering (or making available the knowledge for referral) and short-listing the treatments available to them.

    As a surgeon, I am committed to performing the least invasive and most appropriate procedure for my patients. That may be a complex surgery, a surgery through small incisions, or sometimes no surgery at all. I want to help make things less complicated for my patients, and that is one of the main reasons I joined Bay Area Gynecology Oncology is the practice model – that we bring the surgical expertise to the hospitals close to where our patients live, to gynecologists with whom our patients are familiar, rather than traveling to the sterile, cold ivory towers of large medical centers. There are approximately 500 gynecologic oncologists in the United States (compared to 14,000 medical oncologists and 5,000 radiation oncologists), and so throughout my training in large and small cities throughout the Midwest and East Coast I’ve seen patients who travel for hours to the get to these large medical centers, the stress and the hardship on the patients and their families, which intangibly and sometimes tangibly affected their treatment and outcomes. I did not believe that is the right thing to do and not what I would want for someone in my family or yours.

    I immigrated from Taiwan at age 8 and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and – wanting to experience all that life and the weather has to offer – attended Northwestern University in Chicago for college and medical school in their honors program. Brr! From Chicago to New York I went for residency training at Cornell University’s medical campus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Four intense, wonderful, humbling and inspiring years (with a month of elective rotation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) later, I went to Pittsburgh for gynecologic oncology fellowship at Magee Womens Hospital, which is the epitome of the medical ivory tower in a region that includes central Pennsylvania, western New York, West Virginia, and eastern Ohio. For a training program, it was fantastic and the number of lives I touched was tremendous. Searching for a job, however, I knew I wanted to be where the patients are and not the other way around. I know my patients have enough on their plates and want to provide state of the art care to them in their comfort zone to maximize chances of success.

    Undergraduate: Northwestern University
    Medical School: Northwestern University
    Residency: New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
    Galloway Rotating Residency: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Fellowship: Magee – Women’s Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical School
    Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese
    Interests: Minimally invasive surgery, quality outcomes research

  • Katherine Volpe, M.D.

    Dr. Katherine Volpe specializes in disorders of the female pelvic floor. She is a fellowship trained Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery specialist and a board certified gynecologist.

    One in three women will have issues with urinary leakage, bowel control or pelvic organ prolapse during their lifetime. Despite how common these issues are, women are often hesitant to discuss them with their physician. Dr. Volpe understands the sensitive, personal nature of these conditions and is honored to guide her patients through their many options from holistic and complementary therapies to minimally invasive surgeries.

    A native of Northern California, Dr. Volpe was drawn to the service mission of Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA and stayed in the Northwest to attend medical school at Oregon Health and Science University before making her way back to the sunshine. Her interests include minimally invasive surgery and she is active in health equity research. She serves as the co-chair of the American Urogynecologic Association Health Disparities Special Interest Group. In her free time she enjoys exploring new restaurants with her husband, hiking and gardening.

    Undergraduate: Gonzaga University
    Medical School: Oregon Health Science University
    Residency: University of New Mexico
    Fellowship: University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
    Languages: English, Spanish
    Interests: Minimally invasive surgery, health equity research

    View my reviews here

  • Meagan Littlepage, M.D.

    Dr. Meagan M. Littlepage is a native of California’s Central Valley and completed her undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara. She studied medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and spent her intern year in New York with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Though she enjoyed her time in the Eastern United States, she was extremely happy to return home to California and her family for her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency at Stanford University. She went on to complete a fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. After completing her fellowship she worked as the attending physician of the PM&R Polytrauma Unit at the VA Palo Alto. She joined the El Camino Rehabilitation Team in 2012, where she specializes in Spinal Cord Injury and Neurorehabilitation. She works on the acute inpatient rehab unit in addition to serving as the Director of Outpatient and Consult Services.

    Read Dr. Littlepage’s advice on preventing and treating trauma incidents this summer.

  • Elizabeth Adie, M.D.

    I am a board certified gynecologist specializing in the overall health and well being of cancer survivors. I received my medical degree from Wayne State University and went to the University of Texas at Houston-MD Anderson Cancer Center for my internship and residency.

    Since my training, I have developed a particular interest in the wide spectrum of issues and problems cancer survivors suffer from as a result of their disease and the treatment of it. I have developed our TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE program; a comprehensive program aimed at empowering cancer survivors to improve their overall mental and physical health. By giving cancer survivors the tools to regain a healthy and productive life, our program can help them maintain active lives and relationships both during and long after their cancer treatment. Our program addresses the sexual function, psychosocial, nutritional, and physical limitations that cancer survivors often face and helps our patients overcome them.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and suffering from any of the complications of cancer or side effects of your treatment of cancer, I am honored to offer our services to help you regain a healthy and active lifestyle.