Behind the Breakthroughs
The Your Stories Podcast

Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer — patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.

Dr. Chi Viet
Dr. Chi Viet with microscope
Behind the Breakthroughs
A Rare Cancer Conversation
Imagine you’re diagnosed with oral cancer, a rare and particularly painful, disfiguring disease. You successfully undergo surgical treatment, but it visibly alters how you look and speak. And, even after your cancer is removed, your quality of life remains significantly altered, including your abilities to eat and socialize. Dr. Chi Viet, a cancer surgeon at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, focuses her research and practice on caring for patients who face these exact challenges — and on improving their outcomes.

Supported by a Conquer Cancer grant, Dr. Viet works to personalize care for patients by uncovering the epigenetic signatures — in other words, the hereditary signs and signals — of survival in oral cancer. She also builds new strategies to help patients more effectively manage pain during and after cancer care.

In this Your Stories episode, Dr. Viet speaks with host Dr. Don Dizon about what drew her to switch from dentistry to surgical oncology and how partnering with patients helps to inform her oral cancer research.
Your Stories
Dentistry to Oncology

For patients with oral cancers, treatment is often just the beginning of their journey. Even after they emerge cancer-free, many still face a long journey to recovery and restored quality of life. As a maxillofacial surgeon and oncologist, Dr. Chi Viet concentrates heavily on helping her patients to not only conquer this rare cancer, but to more easily and effectively manage their pain along their road to recovery. Using a Conquer Cancer grant, Dr. Viet worked to find epigenetic biomarkers — or hereditary indicators — of oral cancer survival, with the goal of personalizing patient care.

In this episode of our Your Stories podcast, Dr. Viet speaks with host Dr. Don Dizon about her early career evolution from dentist to cancer surgeon and how her own patients help to advance rare cancer research for current and future patients.

Having my patients enrolled in my clinical study allows me to learn more about them outside of just being my cancer patients. And that helps me make much more informed decisions and helps me advise them better.
Dr. Chi Viet