Head for the Cure exists to inspire hope within the brain cancer community while performing to increase vital clinical research and programs. We are excited to partner with University Health System for our 6th Annual Head for the Cure 5K- San Antonio run/walk and they greatly contribute to our mission. We would like to shine a light on one of those wonderful individuals at UHS and get to know them a little better. Meet Dr. Shafqat Shah and learn more about what she does!
“Hello! My name is Dr. Shafqat Shah and I am a Board Certified Pediatric Hematologist – Oncologist! I treat patients with cancers and blood disorders in the clinic and in the hospital. My focus is on children with brain and spinal cord tumors, and also patients who are off treatment and in the survivorship phase. I also teach medical students, pediatric residents, and hematology/oncology fellows. Teaching is always a fun part of my job as I hope to inspire a few to enter my field and take care of oncology patients. It is always nice to hear from past students and see the impact they are making in their work!
The best part of my job is seeing patients over time. I have been able to follow some kids for 15 or 20 years! One of our leukemia survivors recently got married, two have just had children, one just finished college with a social worker degree, and another is an elementary school teacher. These survivors have been doing very well, but do face health scares from time to time, but our team works hard to try to keep these survivors as healthy as possible.
Over time, many patients with brain tumors receive all kinds of treatments, from surgery to radiation to chemotherapy. They are some of the most fragile of our cancer survivors and their health outcomes are not as great as typical leukemia patients. Unfortunately, some of them experience recurrence many years later. However, many scientific advances are now exploring options that should have less serious side effects than treatment used in the past. I am hopeful that we can offer these options to more patients and keep them healthier in the long term! That is what keeps me motivated to stay up to date with clinical advances and offer the best choice I can to each patient.
Outside of the hospital, I love to read and love all kinds of books, especially ones that have strong heroines. Gone with the Wind or Americanah by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie are two of my favorites!”