Courtesy of Advocate HealthCare by Adam Widman
CHICAGO – Dr. Ameer Gomberawalla, a breast surgical oncologist with Advocate Health Care, was recognized this afternoon as the Chicago Bears’ special guest during the “Bear Down” flag ceremony before the Bears took on the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. The honor was part of the Crucial Catch/Breast Cancer Awareness celebration where several Advocate breast cancer survivors and their clinicians were honored during the game.
Born in New York City and a former high school football player in Texas, Dr. Gomberawalla now resides in Palos Park and has been a breast surgeon with Advocate for the past 8 years. He serves as the Medical Director for Breast Oncology, and is the Medical Director for Informatics in Surgery.
It was a day he will never forget, mainly because of the message it sends about encouraging early detection while honoring those who are fighting and the memory of those who were lost to this disease.
“This day is so meaningful for both our patients and our organization,” he said. “I have been fortunate enough to be part of this celebration since 2018 where I came to my first game of this nature. It is such a tremendous opportunity to get to celebrate our survivors and have them receive this chance to be celebrated by their family, this city, Advocate and the Bears organization.”
His desire to help those with health risks made him realize at the age of 15 that he wanted to enter the medical field and become a physician. During his rotations in medical school, while realizing his keen interest in cancer prevention and early detection, he found his calling by falling in love with the field of surgical oncology and specifically breast surgery.
Dr. Gomberawalla received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Northwestern University and completed his surgical oncology training at Columbia University where he also learned special techniques in preventing lymphedema. He has contributed many manuscripts and presentations both nationally and internationally and his clinical and research interests include oncoplastic surgery techniques and improving patient outcomes in cancer care. He also holds faculty positions as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Rosalind Franklin.
“A breast surgeon in the United States is a physician leader who is able to take a disease from screening and prevention, through treatment and survivorship, and have a long-term relationship with the patients,” he said. “Additionally, with breast cancer being so common, you are able to help a large group of people overcome a disease that is surrounded with so much fear. It is so rewarding to go from the chaos surrounding the diagnosis of breast cancer, and then taking that chaos and transforming into an experience where the patient feels empowered, does well, and is thriving in their future.”
Dr. Gomberawalla also oversees Advocate’s high-risk breast cancer clinics which help provide personalized screening recommendations and methods to reduce the chance of breast cancer in the future.
“One of our best methods of having great outcomes is by catching it before you feel anything through that ‘crucial catch’. At Advocate, we have been calculating individual’s risk of getting breast cancer and then counseling them on how they can help reduce this risk. We even have dedicated high risk breast cancer prevention clinics across the state that will counsel patients on how to reduce the chance of getting breast cancer. The best way to schedule a checkup is to either talk to their main doctor, or go to our mammogram web site and schedule a screening test.”