Patient-focused care: Dr. Houman Vaghefi

01.18.2019

In search of hope, a patient who was told his lung cancer was untreatable visited Dr. Houman Vaghefi, Director of Radiation Oncology at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, for a second opinion. 

The patient had a number of other medical issues and his tumor was in a critical area in his lung. He was told by other oncologists that surgery was out of the question. But because Goshen Center for Cancer Center offers stereotactic body radiotherapy, oncologists are able to pinpoint the tumor without affecting other areas of the body like the heart or the esophagus. Dr. Vaghefi offered this treatment to the patient whose situation just hours before had been deemed hopeless.

“We've had many patients who are seen by other centers where they're told their cancer is not treatable,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “Then they come to Goshen. They see us. They see our different specialists, our multidisciplinary group. When we can provide options and hope to our patients, that really makes my day.”

Putting patients and families first

At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, oncologists make a point to spend more time with patients and families. Instead of having 10 or 15-minute time constraints, doctors can spend hours with the patient and family to talk them through their journey with cancer.

“Spending time with patients is really important because cancer is very complicated,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “We have multiple teams who can offer treatment options to patients, such as surgical oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology.”

When a patient’s care plan is not clarified through extensive discussion, the patient and family often leave an initial appointment confused about their treatment plan and without critical information. 

“It's key to make sure the communication is clear,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “That way, the patients and their families really have a good understanding about what their journey is going to be like.”

Working together for the best outcomes

Another way Goshen Center for Cancer Care puts patients first is through their interdisciplinary approach to cancer care. Each patient’s case is thoroughly reviewed by a team of oncologists, nutritionists, naturopathic doctors, surgeons and specialists to determine the most holistic treatment plan for the best possible outcome. 

“We discuss all of our patients before they're treated,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “This way, we have a good plan, a good strategy to take care of their cancer. This way, we get the best outcomes.”

Great care supported by innovative procedures 

How is it possible to consistently deliver more options to cancer patients? At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, physicians are driven and excited to search for new techniques and technologies. And when new methods are discovered, oncologists are bolstered by a supportive administration. 

“We have great administration who allow us to learn new techniques and invest in innovative technologies,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “With their support, we can discover new and potentially better options to offer our patients.”

This is what makes Goshen Center for Cancer Care unique. Unlike many other treatment centers, Dr. Vaghefi says, their entire team works together. 

“Unfortunately, in some places, cancer care can be very fragmented,” he said. “A lot of the team members, like surgical oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology may not agree with the treatment of choice. Sometimes, treatment is started before the best treatment is discussed. Because of that, sometimes cancer care is compromised.”

With a supportive administration and a collaborative team, Dr. Vaghefi believes he is able to make the biggest positive impact on his patients. 

“At Goshen, we have an excellent team of physicians who are very passionate and are very good at what they do,” said Dr. Vaghefi. “We have an outstanding approach to cancer care. In addition, we're lucky to have cutting-edge technology and techniques. Furthermore, we have different protocols that also allow us to offer an exceptional standard of care to patients in their journey. I chose Goshen Center for Cancer Care because this is where I can make a difference.”

For more information about our team at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, visit our website.