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Ballroom Dancer Treating Cancer: A Spotlight on DCMS Member Dr. Randal Henderson

Wednesday, July 31, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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Story by Kristy Williford, DCMS Director of Communications


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Duval County Medical Society Member Dr. Randal Henderson has been serving patients at UF Health Jacksonville for 20 years. He's a radiation oncologist and was drawn to the specialty with the dream of curing patients.

“Often times you were dealing with patients a lot of times earlier in their disease process where the cancer was potentially curable," said Randal Henderson, MD. “At the time that I went into cancer work the medical oncologists dealt with very few diseases they could cure.”

When he's not with patients, you'll find Dr. Henderson dancing his way through life alongside his wife, Jean. The ballroom dancers have competed around the country, even taking a national title in 2009.

“For our age group, we were national champions in American rhythm which is Latin dance done with the American style,” Dr. Henderson explained.

But they didn't always plan to compete in ballroom dance. In fact, Mrs. Henderson took some convincing.

“She loved to do rock n' roll kind of dancing and she didn’t want to do dancing with rules and I wanted to know the rules,” Dr. Henderson said with a laugh.

While he may know all the rules for dance, Dr. Henderson is still very much open to learning and researching when it comes to medicine. He's actively involved in numerous cancer trials he hopes will lead to a better understanding of the need for proton therapy.

“Because it’s a new therapy and it’s more expensive than traditional X-ray treatment, a lot of insurance companies will have reservations about funding their patients to get proton therapy until the data is sufficient to really prove that its better,” he said.

While the research continues, Dr. Henderson is proud of the many patients he's successfully treated over the years.

“I see patients that I’ve known 15-20 years and they’re still coming back for their follow up visits and it’s nice to have those long-term relationships and see the success of what you’ve done,” said Dr. Henderson.