Sally’s Story: Excellent Cancer Care in Her Own Backyard

Sally Rudy has come to know the Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) Cancer Care Center well during the past dozen years. First, she accompanied her son, Brian, to his daily treatment sessions when he was battling testicular cancer as a college student.

Then, Sally returned as the patient.

Screening and diagnostic mammograms revealed that Sally, retired from Covington Elementary School after 30 years as a teacher, had breast cancer, followed by surgery, she made the daily trek to the Cancer Care Center for 37 days of radiation treatment.

When she first moved to Miami County, Sally thought she’d have to travel to a big city medical center for treatment of any major illness. Her experiences with the care available in her own backyard at UVMC have changed her mind.

A Personal Touch

“I was very thankful it was just a short drive for me,” Sally says. “I was so happy that I was able to have my surgery and my treatment here. It meant a lot, because I know people who had to travel to Columbus for care. I think that would have added much, much more stress. I knew I was getting good care here.”

She recalled how radiation oncologist Ronald Setzkorn, MD, of Dayton Physicians Network, assured her that a “really great team” would handle her care. He served as director of radiation for the Cancer Care Center.

“From the time I stepped in the door to the time I left, it was maybe 10 minutes. They were very efficient, on time, and yet they were very professional,” Sally remembers of her experience. “I was not stressed out coming here for treatment every day.”

About 500 new cases come to the Cancer Care Center each year. “Most are local residents, all requiring the professional approach, but also personal touch,” says Jean Heath, director of the Cancer Care Center.

“When you work close to home, you meet people you see at the grocery store or elsewhere in the community,” Heath says. “We’ve learned how to do that special touch without being too invasive. We’ve found a balance with helping patients along on this journey.”

“It is important for cancer patients to realize they are not alone in the journey,” Sally says. “I think more and more people realize that. Almost everyone, in some way, has been touched by cancer, either through a family member or friend.”

She admits to having a “soft spot” for people she sees entering the Cancer Care Center. “You just know a little bit of what they might be going through.”

Ronald Setzkorn, MD

Ronald Setzkorn, MD

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