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In The Trenches... Health Care Professionals Who See Cancer Every Day

Publication: Midland Reporter-Telegram, Midland

Cancer is often devastating news to anyone diagnosed with it and to those who love them. October is breast cancer awareness month, a time to raise awareness about the disease, celebrate survivors and remember those who have passed. It is also a time to celebrate those who fight cancer as their careers: health care providers.

Erica Ary, practice director of Midland’s Allison Cancer Center, a branch of Texas Oncology, started her career as a nurse on the oncology floor at Odessa Medical Center. She’s worked in surgery and hospice as well, but she always came back to oncology.

“So many people have said to me over the years, why do you do oncology? How depressing,” Ary said. “And I’m like, ‘No, I get strength from our patients. They come in here scared, and I can help them not be scared. They come in during one of the weakest moments of their life, but they show enormous strength. I get more blessings from being able to witness that than I could ever give them.’”

Most oncologists or oncology nurses are often asked the same question: Why do you do oncology? Isn’t it too sad? After all, the number of cancer deaths in the United States is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women per year and almost 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with some type of cancer each year, according to 2008-2012 National Cancer Institute statistics.

Read the full story at Midland Reporter-Telegram, Midland.