Cancer: From Patient to Doctor

FRESNO, Calif. If you're like me, sometimes you wonder if your doctor understands what you're going through. Well, one oncology doctor we spoke to does. We'll show you how beating cancer as a teenager changed his life.

"From the moment I had cancer, I felt it was fate,"Amir Steinberg, M.D., oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, told Ivanhoe. "I should help others like me. I began to contemplate."

Doctor Amir Steinberg wrote this poem called hope. It was hope that helped him. He was just 17 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Almost two decades later, he remembers the chemo, the radiation and what it took to kill his cancer.

"When it was over,"Dr. Steinberg explained. "I felt life so much more and appreciated every moment and couldn't wait for what's in store."

He is now an oncologist at Cedar-Sinai and has dedicated his life to helping people like him battle for their future.

"When I care for patients,"Dr. Steinberg said. "I listen to their fear and their courage and their hope. I'm here to lend an ear."

Javier Mandujano has been fighting t-cell lymphoma for five years. He says Dr. Steinberg knows the small details, the side effects, the daily struggle that others may not.

"You will definitely communicate better with someone who went through this," Mandujano, Cancer Patient, said.

One key point this cancer survivor makes with all his patients… "Live life as if the cancer is not around,"Dr. Steinberg said. "Live as normally as you can, as if it was never found."

That's exactly what Louie Rosas did to beat leukemia. Dr. Steinberg set a course of treatment.

"Even when I was having bone marrow injections," Rosas explained. "As he's putting the needle in, he would say, 'Good job. Keep it up. Stay positive."

And helped him focus on getting back to what he loves. "The next time you see a new patient with cancer," Dr. Steinberg said. "When they ask if there is hope, now you know the answer."

Sadly, Louie passed away shortly after our interview with him. Dr. Steinberg says that once a cancer patient, you're always a cancer patient. To this day, he still has yearly visits with his oncologist who is one of the most important people in his life. He says it would be a pleasure to see his cancer patients 20 years down the road as well.

Simi Singer
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 423-7798

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