Dr. Cherylle Hayes
Why did you decide to go into your area of medicine?
I went into oncology because the perplexity of cancer was very intriguing as well as its involvement in every part of the body. The complexity of the diseases and their treatment (including newer treatment modalities that involve technological advances, molecular therapies, etc.) have pushed us into a new era.
Why is exercise so essential to health?
Exercise is so essential to health because it improves your chances of living longer and healthier and it lowers the risk for developing chronic diseases. Also, regular exercise lowers your risk for developing many cancers and for survivors may lower the risk of recurrence.
Exercise boosts energy, relieves stress and promotes psychological well-being. For cancer patients, exercise has been shown to improve the quality of life, levels of fatigue and overall outcomes related to survivorship. I recommend moderate exercise for at least 2 ½ hours per week.
What is your advice to women who know breast cancer runs in their families?
If you have a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer, you have a higher risk of developing the disease. My advice to women who have a family history of breast cancer is to take steps to reduce the risk of developing the disease. Lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol, avoiding tobacco products and eating nutrient dense foods are just a few steps. There are other risk reduction options for women with strong family history such as use of preventative medications (also know as anti-estrogens). Lastly, frequent screenings may be necessary. Be sure to inform your physician of your family history.
Tell us about your most inspiring patient.
I have had many inspiring patients, but one of the most inspiring was a man who my colleagues and I treated for prostate cancer. He taught me how important it was to listen to patients, obtain their medical histories and not depend on others for really knowing your patients – a lesson that will go a long way in both my professional and personal life.