Dec 10, 2018
As part of ASCO’s “I Live to Conquer CancerTM” Campaign to raise awareness of the critical importance of federally funded cancer research, members of the oncology community are invited to answer the question “Why do you live to conquer cancer?” Written stories and videos may be shared on ASCO.org and ASCO Connection. Tell us your story today.
Video by Miriam A. Knoll, MD; transcript below.
I live to conquer cancer because waking up every day and treating patients who are suffering from cancer is truly a privilege. When I see a patient and look them in the eye and say, "I can help you, this treatment is going to make you feel better; I’m very hopeful that this treatment will cure you of your cancer," it’s truly an indescribable privilege, and it is only because of incredible research and clinical trials that have been done, and are continuing to be done, that we have the opportunity to care for our patients in this incredible way.
When a patient comes to see me for a follow-up and they’re doing well, and they’re smiling, and they’re happy, and they’re healthy, and especially if it’s a patient that we didn’t expect for them to be living this long, I look them in the eye and I tell them, “You just made my day! You made my month! You made my year!” It is just an unbelievable thing that we have patients that even 10 years ago we would not have expected for them to live to the end of the year, and now some of our patients are living 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years.
We have come so so far in the treatment of all different kinds of cancer. It is truly a privilege to be able to care for our patients and it’s only because of the incredible research that has been done by the cancer community. That’s why I live to conquer cancer.
Dr. Knoll conquers cancer as a radiation oncologist at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. She serves as medical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center/Mountainside.