Kevin Oeffinger
Kevin Oeffinger, MD
Keynote speaker

In this captivating presentation, Dr. Kevin Oeffinger from Duke Cancer Institute’s Center for Onco-Primary Care reflected on his 30-year career caring for Hodgkin Lymphoma survivors. Starting as a resident in Waco, Texas, he shared his journey, mentors, and inspirations. Dr. Oeffinger discussed the many patients he has treated, sharing both inspirational and tragic stories, and highlighting the complexities of Hodgkin’s survivorship.

Dr. Oeffinger emphasized critical lessons learned:

  • There is a need for better education on late effects within the medical community.
  • Many healthcare providers lack knowledge about Hodgkin survivors’ unique challenges.
  • His nurse practitioners dedicate significant time (10 hours per patient) to reviewing medical records.
  • He frequently encounters breast cancer as a late effect and often recommends bilateral mastectomies for prevention.
  • High prevalence of colorectal polyps in long-term survivors, according to a Dutch study on the topic. Frequent screening is essential for those with a high number of polyps (12-15+) found during a colonoscopy.
  • The high amount of uncertainty surrounding these conditions necessitates that providers be available to their patients. He recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and meditation to help manage uncertainty.
  • Several patients have had successful organ transplants (lung, kidney, heart), though success requires being in the right place at the right time.
  • Survivors often deal with both resilience and PTSD, emphasizing the choice to dwell in the past or move forward.
  • Peer support is vital for survivors.
  • Current treatment outcomes show improvements, offering hope for the future.

This presentation offers a heartfelt look into the experiences and insights gained from decades of dedicated care, making it a must-watch for those interested in the ongoing challenges and triumphs in Hodgkin Lymphoma survivorship.

Access Dr. Oeffinger’s presentation, Reflections on 30 Years of Providing Care for Hodgkin Survivors

Dr. Kevin Oeffinger is a family physician, the founding Director of the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) Center for Onco-Primary Care, the Director of the DCI Cancer Supportive Care and Survivorship Center, and Professor of Medicine with Tenure in the Division of Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine. The four-fold mission of the Center for Onco-Primary Care are to: (1) deliver evidence-based, patient-centered health care across the cancer continuum by enhancing the interface between cancer specialists and primary care clinicians; (2) conduct innovative research with cutting-edge technology that can be translated to the community setting; (3) train and educate clinicians and researchers to extend this mission; and (4) generate policy leading to practice redesign.
Dr. Oeffinger has served as a clinician caring for Hodgkin lymphoma survivors for over 30 years. He has also led several studies supported by the National Cancer Institute aimed at improving the long-term health of Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.