Spotlight: Dr. Paul Harari and the Haunted Hustle

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Paul Harari, MD, UW Carbone Cancer Center


Paul M. Harari, MD, Jack Fowler Professor and Chairman of the UW Department of Human Oncology, shares why he is participating in the upcoming Haunted Hustle to Scare Away Head and Neck Cancer on Saturday, October 13.


Why are you participating in the Haunted Hustle?


I have been a cancer physician and researcher at the University of Wisconsin for 22 years, specializing primarily in head and neck cancer. Although every cancer can be frightening and challenging, head and neck cancer is particularly difficult since it can affect speech, swallowing, breathing and facial appearance.

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I am running in the 10K Haunted Hustle race in honor of past and present head and neck cancer patients to support research and new discoveries that will improve treatment outcomes for the future. Cancer patients are truly inspirational, and I am very proud to run on their behalf.


Thanks to the many wonderful cancer patients and families I have come to know over the years. Let's run!


We hear that you have participated in 5K runs before, but this is your first 10K run. How are you training?


Well, I am certainly running a little bit longer than usual in the last several weeks. My breezy two mile jogs have turned into four-five mile journeys. My knees are slightly sore some days, but my spirits are very good.


If you are not running, what other hobby/sport are you enjoying?


I cherish time with my family (wife and four kids), hiking, playing basketball, biking and watching my kids participate in sports and dance. I also enjoy watching the Badgers, Packers, and tuning into some of the Major League Baseball Playoffs.


Participants can "help while they hustle" and raise needed dollars for head and neck cancer research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center? Why is this important?


Patients deserve the highest level of expertise and a dedicated team approach for complex cancers like those in the head and neck region. This requires a team of experienced specialists, clinical trials that advance promising new findings, and groundbreaking research at the laboratory and new technology level. Research dollars contribute directly to improved cure rates and better quality of life for cancer patients.


Can you share any news about groundbreaking head and neck cancer research or technology that is impacting the way patients are being treated?


We are steadily refining the delivery of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy for ever greater precision and lessening of normal tissue side effects. We continually strive to improve the speech, swallow, taste and cosmetic outcome for patients that previously experienced lifelong problems in these areas. In the laboratory, we are working with several very promising new drugs that further enhance the effectiveness of radiation in head and neck cancer patients.


What is the best advice that you offer your head and neck cancer patients?


Rest assured that we have terrific cancer expertise and compassion at UW, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Let us, as well as your loved ones, help guide you forward.


What will you do after the Haunted Hustle 10K run?


Celebrate with friends, cancer patients and families….then take a nice warm bath.