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Specialist Spotlight: Colon and Gastrointestinal Cancer

Specialist Spotlight: Colon and Gastrointestinal Cancer

Shayan Rayani, M.D., medical oncologist with The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital

Shayan Rayani, M.D., medical oncologist with The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital

Dr. Shayan Rayani understands first-hand what it is like to watch as someone you love battles cancer.  His mom passed away from breast cancer while he was in medical school.

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a doctor,” said Shayan Rayani, M.D. “My cousin who is an internal medicine physician piqued my interest as a kid, and I enjoyed learning science in elementary school. While in high school, I decided to volunteer at a community hospital which furthered my interest in the field.”

He attended UCLA earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology. While applying to medical school, Shayan worked as a medical assistant in an ophthalmology practice that cared for many of Hollywood’s A-list celebrities.

“About a year before I was accepted to medical school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer,” he said.  “She did not want me to put my plans on hold for medical school so I reluctantly went. She knew that I was thinking about dermatology but the day before she died, she told me to consider being an oncologist – and now more than a decade later, I am glad I did.”

During his clinical years at Northeast Ohio Medical University, he really became interested in oncology after rotating through the pediatric cancer unit followed by a rotation in adult oncology with a community oncologist. Dr. Rayani then moved to Washington, D.C. for internal medicine residency training at Georgetown University Hospital. His passion for the field of oncology continued to blossom when he met Dr. John L. Marshall, division chief and renowned international leader in the research and development of drugs for colon cancer and other gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Dr. Marshall took Shayan under his wing and together they published an article on vaccines for the treatment of advanced colon cancer.

To further his training, Dr. Rayani came to Chicago in 2010 to complete a hematology and oncology fellowship at University of Illinois Hospital. He then spent three years caring for cancer patients at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Racine, WI before joining University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital last fall.  A board certified hematologist/oncologist, Dr Rayani is an active researcher and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, including esophageal, pancreatic, liver, stomach, colon and rectal cancers.

Template“Dr. Rayani’s vast knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal cancer is invaluable in our community especially as we continue to see the number of colorectal cancer rates increase among especially among the Gen X and millennials,” said Dr. Sunil Narula, Medical Director of The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

“What attracted me to Silver Cross was the access to the University of Chicago’s cutting-edge chemotherapy protocols, radiation therapy techniques, and over 150 clinical trials,” said Dr. Rayani. “I have the opportunity to really get to know my patients where they live and work and my patients receive all the benefits of an NCI-designated cancer program without having to travel far.”

In recent years, Silver Cross’s breast and lung cancer patients have benefitted from the hospital’s multidisciplinary conference where each week specialists get together to review cases, develop a consensus recommendation, and discuss next steps so that patient can begin treatment immediately. Dr. Rayani is in the process of setting up the same program for patients who may have or have just been diagnosed with GI cancers.

At the forefront of cancer care, Dr. Rayani is a true patient and family advocate.  “I believe that my mom’s cancer experience has made me a better doctor.  I know exactly what it feels like to hear the words – ‘your mom has cancer’.  Therefore, I am always upfront with my patients and their family and will do everything I can to help them manage expectations while we continue to find a cure.

To schedule an appointment for a first, second or even a third opinion, call (815) 300-1400 for an appointment with Dr. Rayani.


Meet Dr. Rayani – May 16

Dr. Shayan Rayani will discuss the latest information on screening and prevention of colon and rectal cancers on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Participants will receive a complimentary Colon Cancer Screening Kit to take home.  Register to attend.

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