Providing Hope to Patients With Cancer Is the Best Part of the Job, Says an Oncologist


With advancements making a “huge difference” in lung cancer outcomes, one surgical oncologist said that offering his patients hope is the best part of his job.

Recent years have brought an abundance of advancements that are improving outcomes for patients with lung cancer.

As a surgical oncologist, one of the best parts of Dr. Pierre de Delva’s job is discussing these new therapies and providing hope to patients with the disease, he said.

De Delva, section chief of general thoracic surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute in Jackson, was recently honored at CURE®’s third annual Lung Cancer Heroes® awards.

“My interactions with our patients (are) about giving hope,” de Delva said in an interview with CURE®. “That's the part that I enjoy my job the most.”


Particularly as a surgical oncologist, you build a really strong relationship with your patients. They have to trust you. They have to believe that you're going to help them get to the other side of this.

They all have a number of ideas, things, they've read things or heard about a lung cancer, which is incredibly nihilistic. You know, and today particularly, we have so much technology and so much research and so many things that have come from the bench to the bedside, that are really make that really make a huge difference for patients and their outcomes.

My interactions with our patients (are) about giving hope. That's the part that I enjoy my job the most.

I mean, I love doing surgery. I love the intricacies of whether we're doing it with a robot or we're doing a lobectomy, or taking out a whole lung whatever we have to do the collaboration with our with a team because for lung cancer is team-based approach. It's a team effort, we need our radiation doctors or pulmonologist surgeons, the oncologist, the navigator … all the friends, nutritionist, but one of the biggest parts that I see my job is to give people options and hope. And that's the (most fun) part of my job.

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