Dr. Mark Newberry, an Oncologist with a Desire to Help

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

October 21, 2010

Dr. Mark Newberry

During the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,The Island News has profiled two survivors, Lesley Holladay and Rosemary Cuppia, as well as Kathy Kilgore, Trea Tucker and Mary Sanders, who are walking the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3 Day for the Cure™ this weekend.

This week, our focus has shifted to treatment options and a local Oncologist who outlines decisive plans for patients like Holladay and Cuppia, who developed cancer and beat it.

Dr. Mark Newberry, an Oncologist with Lowcountry Medical Group, is the quarterback, if you will, of the cancer treatment community. Once a patient learns he or she has cancer, they come to Dr. Newberry for advice on treatment options which can include chemotherapy, radiation, biologic therapy, surgery, or even just observation.  Dr. Newberry develops the plan and the patient follows through with a collective strategy that is ultimately intended to make the patient live longer and feel better.

“The choice is ultimately up to the patient.  I can advise on what works best for the type of cancer, the age of the patient, genetics, etc. As a physician, I am an educator. I give choices and outline a plan and then help administer it,” explains Dr. Newberry.

Of course, to catch cancer early, one must be familiar with his or her own body. It is important to recognize changes and share them with your doctor.  In addition, patients should stay up to date with the appropriate cancer screening tests such as mammograms, colonoscopies, PAP smears, prostate exams, etc.

Once a patient has been diagnosed with cancer then he or she will be referred to Dr. Newberry for further evaluation and treatment. “I will typically review their pathology reports and complete a staging work-up to try to determine the extent of their cancer and subsequently the best way to treat and hopefully cure their cancer.”

“Patients tend to fear the reputation of chemotherapy, but most find they have fewer side effects than they expected. It helps to have a great staff.  My nurses, Kim Harrison and Beth D’Amato are quite professional and have a terrific bedside manner. They make a hard job look easy and the patients really appreciate it. The bond that we form with our patients is truly special” says Dr. Newberry.

After graduating from the University of Virginia, Dr. Newberry attended MUSC and became an Internist in Beaufort. After practicing for six years in Beaufort, he decided to go back for additional training to become a Medical Oncologist. Since September of 2004, Dr. Newberry has been practicing Oncology in the Beaufort area and has helped numerous patients in their fight against cancer through a variety of treatments.

Dr. Newberry clearly enjoys practicing here in Beaufort and is quick to point out all of the services available at Lowcountry Medical Group, which include an on-site infusion area where patients receive their chemotherapy, a comprehensive imaging center as well as full-service laboratory.  “In addition to the diagnostic tools we have here at Lowcountry Medical Group, we have also been able to work with MUSC in establishing outreach clinics here for nationally renowned Dr. Carolyn Reed in Thoracic Surgical Oncology, Dr. Jennifer Young and Dr. Paul Underwood in Gynecologic Oncology.   I am fortunate to have such a wonderful place to take care of patients and so lucky to have access to so many great physicians right here in Beaufort.”

I couldn’t help but ask Dr. Newberry to gauge how things are going in the fight with cancer.  “Today, there are many new pharmaceutical products and targeted therapies that hone in on particular cancers. Treatments are rapidly improving for cancer care, which is very encouraging,” says Dr. Newberry.  “We are also learning that the right diet can make a difference in the recurrence rates.  Based on several trials, I tend to recommend an Eastern diet, which avoids red meats and emphasizes fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables.  This has been shown to reduce recurrence rates by as much as 40% in patients that have had surgery for colon or breast cancer.  I assume that it will help other cancers but, lifestyle changes could never hurt.”

Dr. Newberry cares for cancer patients in the Lowcountry through professional direction and guidance, a cooperative plan, and the heart and soul to carry it out. Beaufort thanks him for that. An Oncologist to someone with cancer is a Savior. To many in the Beaufort community, Dr. Newberry is a personal hero. “There is no better gratification in the medical world than saving a person’s life” says Dr. Newberry.

Dr. Newberry has two sons, Marcus and Sam, ages 14 and 12. In his spare time Dr. Newberry enjoys tennis, fishing, boating and cooking. Originally from Mt. Pleasant, he is a Lowcountry Boy, through and through.

Thank you Dr. Newberry for a poignant interview about your profession and your desire to help.  I certainly admire your ambition and the integrity of your practice. In honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we salute your effort to help our loved ones celebrate more birthdays and our hearts go out to all of those living with cancer.

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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