By Sasha P. RinconDr. Karen S. Jacks is a medical oncologist with the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. Along with the ever-changing field of oncology, her relationships with her patients are both equally rewarding and challenging.
“The relationships I create with my patients and their families are extremely stimulating to me. I thrive off of the long-term, frequent interaction I have with each patient. However, this can be very challenging [at times] when we experience loss,” said Dr. Jacks.
Dr. Jacks entered the medical field to care for people who wanted and needed her help. She shared that each patient motivates her to provide the best care possible. “There is something I take away from each patient I encounter and it keeps me coming back to work every day,” she said.
Dr. Jacks completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina and earned her medical degree at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. After medical school, she concluded her education with a three-year internal medicine residency followed by a three-year fellowship in medical oncology/hematology.
Equally important to Dr. Jacks’ career is the specialized training, one-on-one patient care and the constant advances in medications, technologies and treatments available for cancer. The constant change is a challenge, but Dr. Jacks explained, “Within the challenge is what I enjoy most; the field of medicine is quite dynamic and does not allow for boredom.”
The most pertinent advancement in Dr. Jack’s specialty, breast cancer, is the FDA approval of two medications for HER2+ breast cancer. Dr. Jacks credits her continuing education in medicine to Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada which strives to maintain the latest technologies for the treatment of cancer and has a large research division which provides numerous Phase I, II and III clinical trials for patients.
“If I can offer any advice to readers and potential patients, I would highly recommend getting regular cancer screenings,” said Dr. Jacks.
Screening is the best way to detect early cancers that are potentially curable or to find pre-malignant lesions that can be treated to prevent a cancer from developing. Also, maintaining routine check-ups with your doctor is vital as prevention and early detection provide a better chance at a cure.
With all of the world-class medical care available in Nevada, Dr. Jacks is pleased that residents don’t have to leave the state for quality care. “Las Vegas has become a leader in the medical industry, which is why it was such a draw for me to move here,” she said.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is an annual event in which Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada always participates. The Caring Place is a program of Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation dedicated to easing the journey of those touched by cancer. The Caring Place is a significant resource to the community that provides no-cost programs and services to support, educate and empower those who have or have had cancer, their family members, friends and caregivers.
On her days off, Dr. Jacks enjoys spending time with her family, her husband, Paul, and four children. Sewing and quilting are activities that she also enjoys in her quiet time.Karen S. Jacks, MD – Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada Credentials: MD
Medical Specialty: Medical Oncology/Hematology