HANNIBAL, Mo. — Hannibal Regional Medical Group recently added Dr. Kevin Palka, who specializes in hematology and oncology, to its team.
Palka earned his medical degree from the University of Texas-Southwestern and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center/West Side V.A. Hospital. Palka completed his fellowship training in hematology and oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Palka has more than 10 years of experience in the hematology/oncology field of medicine.
“During my college years at Duke University, I was planning to go to medical school, and I focused my coursework on genetics and molecular biology, which is the foundation of cancer,” Palka said in a press release. “Once I arrived at medical school at the University of Texas-Southwestern, I gravitated towards clinical rotations involving cancer patients, and I realized that hematology/oncology was the best career path for me. Oncology is a rapidly evolving field, and the number of treatments is expanding every year, especially with the growth of immunotherapy. I am always trying to learn about new treatment options, and it keeps me on my toes.”
Hematology/oncology refers to the combined medical practice of hematology (the study of the blood’s physiology) and oncology (the study of cancer). A hematology/oncology physician is equipped to diagnose and treat cancerous blood disorders and cancers as well as manage symptoms of these diseases and tumors (if present).
“The most rewarding thing is to guide a patient through their chemotherapy treatments and cure them of their cancer,” Palka said. “Unfortunately, many patients are not curable, and they need a strong advocate for their care. A good oncologist establishes an unbreakable bond with the patient and their family.
“I try to educate my patients and their families about their cancers and the various treatment options and potential side effects. Ultimately, the patient is in charge of their treatment. I try to spend as much time as necessary to answer their questions and lessen their anxiety. I also want to give my patients the best, most up-to-date treatments for their cancer. Patients should not have to travel to St. Louis or Columbia for high-quality, modern oncology care.”
To contact Palka’s office at the Hannibal Regional Cancer Institute (previously the Hannibal Regional Infusion Center), call (573) 629-3500.
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