“In many ways the most difficult thing about oncology is also the most rewarding.”
Even though his father passed away at a young age from cancer, Dr. Bradley Switzer says his interest in medicine mostly came when he was an undergraduate student at USC. “One of my teachers, a physiologist, had a big interest in cancer and I wound up being fascinated by the science of it,” he explains. “After I graduated, I did some research work but ultimately decided that I needed to go to medical school. I did enjoy doing research but felt I needed more of the human factor in my work…helping people just struck a chord with me.”
At Reliant Dr. Switzer treats all different types of cancers. However, he has specific expertise in treating cancer of the bowel, appendix, liver and other internal organs. Dr. Switzer believes in spending as much time as possible communicating with his patients. “My style is to sit down and have a frank conversation. My first visit with most of my oncology patients is well over an hour. That’s because when you are first diagnosed with cancer, you have a million questions. And I want to make sure that everyone completely understands as much as they can about the care plan and the steps going forward, and that takes time.”
Dr. Switzer admits that it’s not always easy emotionally treating people with cancer, but that he finds his work very gratifying. “In many ways the most difficult thing about oncology is also the most rewarding. You’re helping people on this journey and you naturally get close to them. You share a little about yourself and get to know them and their families and that’s very rewarding. However, when things don’t go well, you are also emotionally involved and that can be difficult.”
In recent years Dr. Switzer has become very excited about how the latest scientific breakthroughs are transforming cancer care. “We are making great strides every day. That’s one of the reasons I like Hemotology/Oncology, things are constantly changing and that’s a good thing. One of the most exciting areas in cancer treatment is immunotherapy. It’s a concept people have been working on for a long time. How can we enhance the body’s own immune system to attack cancer? It’s only in the past 5-10 years that we have been successful with it. It’s making an impact on everything from skin cancer to lung cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is really at the forefront of cancer care now.”
When he is not busy helping his patients, Dr. Switzer likes to spend time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys the outdoors and loves to go camping and hiking.
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