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Welcome Hycienth Ahaneku, M.D., Ph.D., to Texas Oncology-San Antonio Medical Center

October 13, 2023

Hycienth Ahaneku, M.D., Ph.D., hematologist and medical oncologist, is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–San Antonio Medical Center. Dr. Ahaneku discusses what led him to practice medicine and some of his all-time favorite reads.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where it was common for your parents to decide your career path. My father thought I had a compassionate heart, and he wanted me to become a doctor, so I became a doctor. 

While I was earning my Ph.D., part of my research work afforded me the opportunity to interact with cancer patients. I observed that when faced with a life-changing diagnosis, people are forced to re-evaluate what is truly important in their lives. They prefer to prioritize relationships by spending time with spouses, children, family, and friends. I also watched how these patients built relationships based on trust and support with their oncologists.

Life is not about how much you have; it’s about the lives you touch. It is this privilege to positively impact the lives of cancer patients during their time of need that continues to inspire my appreciation for oncology.

How do you collaborate with other specialists and healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive cancer care?

I collaborate with colleagues and members of my patients’ care teams most often though tumor board presentations and direct phone calls. It is important to develop personal relationships with my colleagues. Our communication makes it easier to discuss each patient individually and determine our collective approach to their care.

What excites you most about joining an organization like Texas Oncology?

During my residency, I did my oncology rotations at Texas Oncology–Longview Cancer Center, where I developed an interest in working for the practice. I am excited about joining Texas Oncology because of the practice’s involvement in clinical research. It also affords me the opportunity to continually stimulate my mind through research, while learning from the knowledge and experiences of physicians across the Texas Oncology network.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like watching and playing football—or soccer, as it is known here in the U.S. I also enjoy watching movies and documentaries about history or notable personalities.

Do you have any favorite books or authors?

My favorite non-fiction books are Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall, both of which were written by Jim Collins. I also enjoy reading books by John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.

What is your favorite restaurant in San Antonio?

I don’t have one yet, as I just recently moved to San Antonio. However, I love Mexican, Asian, and African foods—anything with a little bit of spice.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love photography, though I would still consider myself an amateur.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.