East Northport, NY – People see cancer as one disease and believe all cancers behave the same. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There still exists a great deal of confusion about cancer because of the fear associated with the disease. People believe cancer is automatically a death sentence, but according to overall statistics about 60 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer can live.
“There is hope and hope is a big thing, so I’m most proud of the quality of care I provide to patients,” says Dr. Tamara Weiss. “Today I saw a patient I treated 23 years ago, and there’s nothing more gratifying than knowing I treated him and he’s doing fine.”
Dr. Tamara Weiss is a radiation oncologist and expert in the treatment of thyroid, pediatric and gynecological cancers. As a physician and educator, Dr. Weiss oversees all radiation oncology treatment at Stony Brook University Medical Center and has devoted herself to the progression of her field.
“I guess I’m inherently an optimist,” says Dr. Weiss. “I like taking care of patients and my patients tend to do well.”
There are three primary specialties in oncology: surgical oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology. The difference is the modality used to treat the patient: surgical oncologists operate; medical oncologists use medication; radiation oncologists use various forms of ionized radiation.
Still, Dr. Weiss says the most important thing is spending time with the patient and engaging them in a dialogue that puts them at ease.
“For any new patient, what I want to answer for them is, “What am I recommending? Why am I recommending it? What do you need to do? And what are the side effects?” says Dr. Weiss. “If you answer those four questions, that’s what patients really want to know.
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