Read Time: 3 minutes
Author: Theresa Werner, MD
Dear Patients, Families, and Their Loved Ones,
This time of year always makes me think about family, friends, and all the people I am thankful for in my life. I am one of six children and as the second oldest, I learned early on how to take care of my younger siblings. As a mother, I now find that I have a very nurturing personality, and the care of others has always been a priority in my life.
Those qualities are very fitting for my profession and likely shaped my career and why I become a medical oncologist. Taking care of patients, during perhaps one of the hardest times in their life, and getting to know them and their families is a fundamental piece of my job. That special relationship is one of the most rewarding aspects as well.
Cancer is scary and overwhelming, and it is so important to me and my clinical team to help our patients through this journey. Every team member in the clinic plays a vital role to enhance that clinical experience. Open communication is key for us and our patients.
As the Senior Director of Clinical Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute, new therapies for cancer patients are a priority for me and our cancer center. Clinical trials are an important treatment option for so many of our patients. They provide access to new and exciting therapies that treat, prevent, and diagnose cancer and its risk factors. We encourage our patients to ask about clinical trials at all points of their care.
As we learn more and more about cancer and a patient’s tumor, we use that information to choose the best treatments and personalize a patient’s cancer care. As the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Mountain West, we are uniquely poised to provide these clinical trial opportunities for our patients and their families. With over 250 open clinical trials, our office is hard at work and sees over a 1,000 patients per month.
On a personal note, it has been quite rewarding as a doctor to participate in a clinical trial that tested a new drug for treating ovarian cancer. This trial not only made a difference in the lives of my current patients, but future generations. This would not be possible if my patients had not decided to participate.
I am so thankful for my patients and how brave they and their families are during their cancer journey. I am honored to be part of their team.
Love and Filled with Hope,