Meet Thoracic Surgeon Daniela Molena

VIDEO | 02:13

Daniela Molena, Director of the Esophageal Surgery Program at MSK, discusses the personalized care she provides cancer patients and the inspiration they give her everyday.

Show transcript

How are you?

Nice to see you.

It's a very important part of the patient's treatment to have somebody that is there with them, going through this process that is absolutely stressful. We are in this together.

My name is Daniela Molena. I am a thoracic surgeon and I am the director of esophageal surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Patients that come to see me usually have just received a diagnosis of cancer, so they are really scared. It's very, very important for me that they feel comfortable, that they feel like I am the right person for them. I really want their care to be individualized, to be personalized, and to make sure that what we decide, we decided together.

What MSK has to offer is very specialized expertise for cancer care. When you have a lot of patients with one specific disease, you have the opportunity to really study patterns and see differences. And you can tailor the care that you offer to one specific patient, rather than treating everybody the same.

The CT scan, I looked at it myself and all very carefully, and I don't see anything. So that's good news.

In the last several years, we've done so much progress in cancer care. And not only can we cure patients with their cancer, but also from a surgical standpoint, we're moving towards a more and more minimally invasive approach. So patients can really recover much faster, less pain, less complications, and return to their daily life.

Feeling very well, yes. Working, going to the gym.

I love my patients. They are my inspiration every day. They have so much courage and they have so much resilience. I really hope that I can give them strength and hope for the future.