(WKBN) – Mercy Health has brought in a new radiation oncologist from UPMC in Pittsburgh who has expertise in cancer treatment.
Dr. Dwight Heron said he’s really excited to bring new technology, new treatment and new energy to area patients.
In January, he joined Mercy Health Youngstown as their new system medical director of oncology services.
“I am here as part of an incredible team,” he said.
Dr. Heron is the president-elect for the American College of Radiation Oncology and a fellow for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
He comes to the Valley with decades of experience and a passion for fighting cancer.
“Prioritize caring for patients with breast and colorectal and lung cancers. Those three cancers are higher incidences in Mahoning County compared to the rest of the state and compared nationally,” he said.
Dr. Heron says that could be because of environmental factors that still linger in areas like the Valley.
“Some of the stuff is frankly still in the, you know, ground, the groundwater. We still see some of the environment. We talk about air quality, again, the very air that we breathe,” he said.
Dr. Heron specializes in stereotactic body radiotherapy. It’s a potentially life-saving treatment for cancer patients.
“Where we can target tumors anywhere in the body with the accuracy of the tip of a pin. So think about that for a second… So anywhere in the body, even places, frankly, where a surgeon may have difficulty getting to,” he said.
Pittsburgh Magazine named Dr. Heron among the city’s best doctors in 2013 and best doctors for women in 2012.
“We’re trying to make our therapies kinder, gentler, more effective to reduce the burden of cancer and to improve the quality of life of the patients in the region,” he said.
And for patients in the Valley, with Dr. Heron comes more opportunities closer to home.
“We are going to get the message out that first of all, you don’t have to go to Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Columbus or, you know, Houston, Texas MD Anderson or New York. Guess what? We’ve got the experts here locally,” he said.