Hoag Family Cancer Institute
Our Stories


The Best Care Was Five Minutes from Home

Importance of Listening to Your Body

Herb Rosenblum knows the importance of listening to your body. It was December of 2015 when Herb felt sure that something wasn’t right in his mouth. His suspicions were confirmed during an appointment with his ENT, Leslie Bain, M.D., who identified a tumor near his tonsil. Taking in the word “cancer” wasn’t easy, but Herb was grateful that his was found at an early stage. 

Cancer often requires multiple specialists executing a multipronged treatment plan. Finding the best team to treat him was paramount to Herb and to his wife, Joyce. After doing some research, he found himself in the capable hands of medical oncologist, George Semeniuk, M.D., and radiation oncologist Craig Cox, M.D., Herb was very reassured by Dr. Cox’s explanation of Hoag’s team-based approach.

Thanks to philanthropy, Hoag Family Cancer Institute ensures each patient has the support and guidance of a nurse navigator. According to Herb, Head & Neck Cancer Nurse Navigator, Rhonda Hjelm, was exceptional. He called upon her a number of times throughout his 39 radiation treatments at Hoag’s Radiation Oncology department and eight weeks of chemotherapy. Herb also had the support of Hoag Family Cancer Institute registered dietician, Denise Lohman. She called or met with him once a week to make sure he was maintaining his weight, which helped him complete his entire treatment course. 

“The Radiation Oncology department at Hoag is so well run. The staff gets to know you and they are all very caring. It helps,” says Herb, who was motivated to get back to enjoying his retirement from the real estate business.

When GI tests showed possible pre-cancer in his esophagus, Herb’s team made sure he got a quick appointment with John Lipham, M.D., the James & Pamela Muzzy Endowed Chair in GI Cancer. Dr. Lipham’s bedside manner was excellent. Once again, Herb and Joyce were reassured that the Hoag team was the best they could ask for. 

Cancer free, Herb is glad to be back to his favorite past times: cycling, kayaking, golfing and traveling with Joyce. While enjoying a hamburger at the 2017 Hoag Summer Classic, Herb reflected on his experience at Hoag Family Cancer Institute – extraordinary care, exceptional doctors and compassionate staff. He is so grateful to have all of this just five minutes from home.


Questions or comments? Please let us know and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.


Invest in high-quality health care for the people in our community and around Orange County.

Get Involved

Take an action roll in changing healthcare throughout Hoag Hospital Newport Beach and Hoag Hospital Irvine.