Excellence and Compassion

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is pleased to welcome Dr. Swetha Panati, who is ready to fight cancer in the Coastal Bend.

By: Steven Alford
Photos by: Raymond Gray

Coastal Bend women now have a new leader in the fight against breast and ovarian cancers. Dr. Swetha Panati was born in India and attended medical school there, and she is thrilled to now be practicing medicine in the Coastal Bend after falling in love with Texas during her residency at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Odessa.

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She has always been focused on fighting cancer, and she went on to receive two oncology fellowships: one in hematology and oncology from Louisiana State University and a second in hospice and palliative medicine from the University of Kansas. She says that helping people in the constantly advancing field of cancer care drew her to the profession.

“Hematology and oncology is a rapidly evolving specialty,” Panati said. “I want to integrate the newest advances to provide individualized treatment strategies for the patients to give them the best chance to beat their disease.”

This passion for cutting-edge technology and the latest treatments is a reason Panati joined the region’s only nationally accredited cancer program at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. According to Cancer Center Executive Director Tom Enright, they are excited to have her join the team.

“Dr. Panati’s well-rounded, compassionate care and multidisciplinary approach will help our patients reach the best possible outcomes while maintaining their quality of life,” Enright said. “Our team uses a patient-centered approach to make sure they are treated like family.”

Panati is a seamless fit with the mission and values of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, which includes excellence and compassion. She enhances the already impressive team of cancer physicians while bringing an important focus to the table: a special interest in breast cancer and gynecological malignancies.

She says the greatest tool in the battle against cancer is early detection. “I advocate for educating the patients about screenings to catch the cancer at the earliest stage, which gives the best chance for successful treatment,” Panati added.

Panati is thrilled that she joined the CHRISTUS Spohn cancer team just as its First Friday Pinks Links initiative began; this is a unique outreach program that is close to her heart. First Friday supports free screening mammograms, and from September to October, they will be selling Pink Links, paper loops in honor of those fighting breast cancers and in memory of loved ones. Every link sold will then be connected in a powerful display at La Palmera mall.

“I want to encourage everyone to participate because every dollar collected stays in the Coastal Bend and goes towards providing free mammograms,” Panati said. “I want to help remove the barriers that prevent early detection.”

Her fighter spirit, dedication to her patients and compassionate nature has resonated with her new patients in South Texas. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two young children, who now love living close to the beach.

Though the doctor is just getting started on her journey with those she is privileged to serve, she looks forward to a time when cancer is an ailment of the past. “I envision a day,” she said, “when I can tell all my patients that they are completely cancer free.”

To learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Program, please visit www.christusspohn.org/cancercenter or call 361-737-0600.

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