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10 Questions With Cancer Surgeon Luke Rodriguez, MD

Learn more about this foodie, coffee-loving cat dad, whose approach to care is personalized and team oriented

10 Questions With Cancer Surgeon Luke Rodriguez, MD

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is excited to welcome cancer surgeon Luke Rodriguez, MD, to LVPG Surgical Oncology–Schuylkill and LVPG Surgical Oncology–1240 Cedar Crest.

As a board-certified general surgeon who completed a breast surgical oncology fellowship, Dr. Rodriguez is dedicated to providing advanced and personalized care to patients diagnosed with breast cancer and benign breast conditions.

“Life can be hard, and a life-changing diagnosis can make things even more difficult,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “That’s why I make sure I support each of my patients to the fullest, taking time to talk through their entire treatment process, ensure they understand it and listen to their concerns.”

Learn more about Dr. Rodriguez below:

What inspired you to get into medicine?

I grew up playing sports. I played soccer and basketball during high school and continued to play soccer in college. I cherished the team aspect of sports, with all of us working toward a common goal and the exhilaration of winning. I was looking for something similar in my career.

Medicine shares a lot of similarities with sports, one of which is the demand for collaboration among multiple team members to enhance our patients’ outcomes. In medicine, diagnosing, treating and ultimately curing a patient's condition is the most rewarding victory of all.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is meeting new people. Working in oncology can be hard, especially delivering difficult diagnoses to great people. However, being able to engage in conversations with and formulate personalized care plans for my patients is what I enjoy most.

What is one of the most rewarding things you do?

I believe in treating the person, not just their condition. We all face daily stressors but receiving a life-changing diagnosis on top of our already busy lives is very difficult. Getting to extend a helping hand to support and guide my patients is what makes this specialty truly rewarding.

How do you fit in time for exercise or self-care?

I firmly believe that achieving a balanced life, which includes fulfilling work, meditation, regular exercise and a well-rounded diet, is essential for good health. Lately, I’ve taken up running as part of my fitness routine. I try to schedule runs a few times a week, usually after work. On busier days, I seize small opportunities to fit in a quick run or at least keep track of my steps.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like completing projects, like wood working, mechanical work and minor home improvements. I visit my local family regularly and love spending quality time with them.

I also hang out with friends and enjoy trying different culinary experiences, like breweries and restaurants. However, I also enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.

I like to connect with nature, too. As such, I find hiking peaceful and rewarding.

Do you have a pet?

I have a cat named Puma. As an 8-week-old stray kitten, he showed up at my parents’ house and decided I should be his human. Just like most cats, he’s loving, playful and has occasional bouts of scratching and biting (which usually means he’s a happy cat)! As of October 2023, he’s been with me for three years.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott

As you may be able to tell, I am a fan of “The Office!”

Where were some of the most interesting places you have traveled to?

I have been fortunate to experience many diverse cultures through travel. To date, I have visited India, Spain, France, Mexico, Canada and the United States Virgin Islands. I also lived in Puerto Rico for 10 years.

I firmly believe that gaining an understanding and appreciation of different cultures enriches one’s perspective on life.

Are you a tea or coffee person?

Coffee is a necessity in my life! Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico, and our daily ritual always began with “un café.” At our home, we exclusively enjoyed Puerto Rican coffee. Whenever we visited family on the island, our return trip always included a suitcase filled with coffee to last us the entire year!

What’s your favorite holiday?

I adore Thanksgiving. During my childhood, we celebrated with a grand Thanksgiving dinner every year, gathering with family friends from New York City. Before the feast, we’d engage in a pre-dinner soccer game in the backyard, where even our dogs joined in the fun! After the game, there was nothing quite like the satisfaction of indulging in an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving dinner and drifting off to sleep on the couch.

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

Leading Edge Cancer Care, Close to Home

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, which provides patients with even more lifesaving care options, and holds numerous national patient safety and excellence designations.

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