Compassionate meets comprehensive: Dr. Fiona Denham


Dr. Fiona Denham never expected to find herself in Goshen, Indiana. 

The breast surgical oncologist at Goshen Center for Cancer Care trained at some of the nation’s top academic institutions equipped with the highest caliber technology –– technology, she learned, that could be life-changing, and in some cases, life-saving for her patients. 

“I wanted to be able to offer patients the newest technologies, therapies and multidisciplinary tumor boards in an integrative care team,” says Dr. Denham. “Those elements are important to providing excellent patient care.”

Wherever she went after completing her studies, Dr. Denham knew she wanted to have access to that same level of technology for the sake of her patients.

Dr. Denham also has a deeply ingrained belief in compassionate and individualized patient care. 

“My patients are my aunt or my mother, my grandmother, my sister,” she says. “That reminds us of maintaining compassion and empathy when we’re dealing with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. It’s part of who they are now, but it’s not the only part of who they are.”

When it came to finding the perfect fit that met both of Dr. Denham’s goals, she was surprised to find it at Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

“One of the things that surprised me when I came to Goshen Center for Cancer Care was that, for a cancer program in a hospital in a community that’s on the smaller side, I had all the resources, technology and therapies that I would have expected from a very large academic institution and its cancer center.”

In fact, Dr. Denham found that in some cases she had more resources and better technology than she had at the larger institutions where she trained: treatments like Intraoperative Radiation Therapy, a precise, targeted radiation treatment, or the integrative care team, which allow specialists in a variety of treatment areas to work together collaboratively to design a specific treatment plan for each patient. This cutting edge approach truly makes Goshen Center for Cancer Care unlike anywhere else.

“I have all of the technology and even more than what I had in big academic universities and larger cities,” says Dr. Denham. “But I have that in a very personal and intimate environment, both with my Colleagues and with my patients.”

Patients notice the difference

The most rewarding experience, Dr. Denham says, is when patients experience the difference Goshen Center for Cancer Care has to offer, too.

Recently, a patient came to Dr. Denham for a second opinion after an abnormal mammogram. Dr. Denham approached the patient like she does every patient: taking the time to sit with her to review her imaging, go over pathology results, discuss her treatment and management options, and develop a plan best suited for her needs. 

“After our conversation, the patient said, ‘At the other place where I went, I wasn’t given an option of what to do. I was told, ‘This is what needs to be done,’” recalled Dr. Denham. “Hearing her say that she feels there’s a difference when she comes to Goshen Center for Cancer Care meant a lot to me, because I know patients realize there’s a difference here as well.”

Are you interested in learning more about what sets Goshen Center for Cancer Care apart from the rest? Read blogs and watch videos here.