“Every patient I see, I like to think if she were my mother, wife, sister, or daughter – and what I would want done for her,” says Dr. Stephen DePasquale, a specialist in women’s cancer. Dr. DePasquale has been providing care for women facing malignancies for over 20 years, and helping his patients beat their cancer is what he loves most about his profession. “Every day I have the opportunity to get up and help women in this region with a serious problem,” he shares. “I like to think that our practice is making a difference in their lives.” Dr. DePasquale moved to Chattanooga in 2001 after completing a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Brown Medical School, Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to his practice, he serves as chair and associate professor of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
“I have always wanted to help other people, and I’m so fortunate to be able to do it daily.”
1. What sets your practice apart?
We recognize the urgency of the patients we see who have cancer – we typically will see any patient the same day or the next day. We also have a passion for the prevention and early detection of gynecologic cancer in our community.
2. What do you see as the most exciting new development for your profession?
I have always been hopeful that I will see a cure for cancer during my career, and I remain optimistic. Today, we are seeing more therapy, like immunotherapy, that uses the body’s own immune system to combat cancer. This is helping turn these cancers into a chronic disease.
3. What is one of your happiest professional moments?
At a recent charity event for the Women’s Oncology Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, I looked over a crowded room filled with both survivors and those honoring the memory of loved ones affected by cancer. That moment was worth it all.
4. What is your best advice for patients?
Cancer prevention is everything: Vaccinate to prevent cervical cancer. And, know your risk and the associated symptoms of ovarian cancer.
5. What’s the key to making a great first impression?
Know who you are and what you have to give. Patients want to feel confident in our recommendations; this means defining realistic goals when we are fighting cancer.
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