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Get to Know Hematologist Oncologist Robert Decker, MD

Learn more about Dr. Decker and his dedication to his patients

Hematologist Oncologist Robert Decker, MD

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is honored to have hematologist oncologist Robert Decker, MD, as part of the experienced and dedicated care team at LVH Hematology Oncology–Hazleton.

Although he is relatively new to the Hazleton practice, Dr. Decker is a familiar face at the Cancer Institute and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), as he completed his internship, internal medicine residency and hematology oncology fellowship at LVHN.

“I chose a career in medicine so I could be part of improving the health of my own community,” Dr. Decker says. “I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, and it is an honor to give back to the community that raised me.”

Dedicated to providing individualized and compassionate care, Dr. Decker treats a wide range of conditions and cancer types (with a focus on caring for patients diagnosed with blood disorders).

Learn more about Dr. Decker below:

What inspired you to get into medicine?

I chose to pursue a career in medicine because I wanted to help people with cancer live better and longer lives.

What's one thing you hope patients take away from their time with you?

I hope that my patients always feel that their concerns are being heard and addressed and that I will do everything possible to help them get the care they deserve.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is taking care of my patients.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is dealing with some of the more challenging aspects of navigating the health care system, such as trying to get patients the care that they need when they do not have insurance.

What advice would you share with someone who is considering a career in medicine?

A career in medicine is extremely rewarding, but it also requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You should be prepared to care for people who have many different beliefs that may not be the same as yours.

However, if you are interested in improving the health and well-being of your community, medicine may be the career for you!

How do you balance work and family life?

I like to use my commute to transition between my work and family life. I also try to leave as much of my work at “the office” as possible.

What does the future of cancer care look like?

The future of oncology is very exciting, and the field is rapidly evolving. As we learn more about the mechanisms that drive cancer, we are able to develop therapies that minimize side effects and are more effective. I expect the personalization of cancer therapies to continue well into the future.

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path?

It is amazing to see people from all walks of life and hear how they feel about their conditions and general health.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a professional violinist.

What is your proudest career accomplishment?

My proudest moment to date was completing my training and finally getting to practice independently.

What are the most rewarding parts of your job?

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is providing the best care for my patients and their families. Everyone loves to deliver good news, but it is also important to find the best way to help patients manage difficult situations or things that have not gone as planned.

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

I wake up very early!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my children going biking. I also like golfing, exercising and lifting weights.

What’s one interesting fact about you that would surprise your patients?

My favorite drink is Dr. Pepper Strawberries & Cream Zero Sugar!

What’s your favorite type of music?

I enjoy listening to nearly all genres of music and will change what type I’m listening to weekly. Some of my go-tos are rock, country, alternative, pop, punk and classical.

Do you have any pets?

I have two dogs. Molly, a pitbull mix we rescued, has been with us for five years. Bingo, an American bulldog mix we also rescued, has been with us for six months.

What motivates you?

My patients and their families motivate me. Every time I see a patient who is running low on or out of options, I am reminded that we must always strive to improve cancer treatment options.

What’s your favorite sport and team?

I love football, and my favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t–you’re right.” - Henry Ford

I first heard this quote while watching the movie “The Boss Baby” with my kids!

What was your most memorable travel destination?

The most interesting place I’ve traveled to is Saint Lucia.

What is your proudest accomplishment of your life outside of work?

My children!

Who is your favorite author?

My current favorite author is Brad Thor, who writes political thriller novels.

What is your favorite movie and/or television show?

My favorite movie is “Forrest Gump,” and my favorite shows are “Lost” and “Lucifer.”

Do you collect anything?

Yes! I collect socks and stickers from places I visit.

What's your go-to treat?

I really like buffalo chicken pizza.

Are you a tea or coffee person?

I definitely prefer coffee – black with ice. My go-to order is an iced americano.

What’s your favorite holiday?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, especially now that I have children. I love how magical the entire season is for them, and it is so nice to be able to spend time with my family.

How do you practice gratitude?

I pay it forward as much as possible!

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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