Dr. Curtis Mack is a radiation oncologist with a special level of empathy for his patients because he understands what it’s like to be on the other side of a hospital bed. In 2013, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which interrupted his life in many ways.
In this episode of the “CURE® Talks Cancer” podcast, Mack explains what it was like to undergo treatment and how his cancer experience allows him to understand his patients on a deeper level.
“I feel like I was a pretty empathetic guy before,” Mack said. “But there's no way you can't be more empathetic. When I tell patients when we’re talking about stuff, and I'm going to radiate this or that or whatever, I'm like ‘Yeah I had that radiated. And I had that radiated.’ Basically, I had everything radiated because they radiate head to toe. And when I talk to my head and neck patients – and head neck cancer treatment is really tough on folks, for swallowing and drinking and eating and so forth, and needing feeding tubes and IV hydration and all that stuff – and it's like, you know, I can totally relate to that.”
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