A cancer diagnosis is one of the most difficult situations anyone can experience.
That’s why Dr. Monica Khanna, director of radiation oncology at the Lucy Curci Cancer Center, describes her job as providing “confidence” for the patient, even before she mentions the state-of-the-art radiation technology.
“Even with all the advances in radiation oncology, my favorite part of what I do is just talking to my patients and making sure they understand and have confidence in their treatment plans,” Khanna says.
Furthermore, she says, when someone is diagnosed, he or she sees a multitude of physicians, so it is crucial for that patient to understand the treatment and trust in the team. Khanna looks forward to offering this type of support to her patients every day and believes that every staff member at Lucy Curci comes to work with the same goal.
In practice for 20 years, Khanna notes that she has seen considerable development in the radiation technology that allows her to give patients such assurance.
“The advancements in planning software and linear accelerator technology have allowed us to escalate the radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing the dose to normal surrounding critical tissues,” she explains.
While finding great enjoyment in her work, Khanna says she also relishes such creative pursuits as cooking and painting, as well as time with her family. She appreciates and makes space for a holistic approach to life, which dovetails well with her work at the Lucy Curci Cancer Center, where patients are supported with nutritional counseling, exercise classes, transport services, and support groups to foster their healing.
A premium is placed on nurturance at the cancer center, where, as Khanna points out, the mission statement is to offer “a healing place like no other.”
“We can treat and often cure the cancer, but we have to take care of the patients as well,” says Khanna. “My field is very technologically advanced, but what I really enjoy is residing in this community and helping the people of the Coachella Valley through a difficult chapter of their lives.”
VIDEO: A conversation with Dr. Monica Khanna.