Roy H. Decker, MD, PhD, is a Yale Medicine radiation oncologist and the director of the Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) Program. He provides radiotherapy for patients with thoracic malignancies, including lung cancer, as well as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. “Working with cancer patients and their families is extremely rewarding,” says Dr. Decker, who enjoys establishing a close, supportive relationship with his patients who are undergoing treatment.
When cancer patients require high-precision radiation, they are often embarking on a treatment plan that can leave them feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Dr. Decker, who sees patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven, helps alleviate their concerns by explaining their treatment options step-by-step. “Many cancer patients are eligible for aggressive, curative-intent therapy,” he explains, “and we’ll discuss the goals of care and the specific side effects and risks of the treatment.”
Dr. Decker is also an associate professor of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale School of Medicine. Whether he’s conducting research or performing SBRT to treat cancer or to help relieve cancer symptoms, what Dr. Decker finds most gratifying in his work is that each day he helps improve patients’ quality of life.
“Modern radiation technology has dramatically improved our ability to deliver high-precision therapy, resulting in treatment that is more effective and less harmful,” he says. “I enjoy translating this technology into techniques that can help my patients navigate complex treatment choices.”