Dedicated staff involved in community

21st Century Oncology builds relationships with its patients in the Marta A. Gonzalez Cancer Center, a building named after the mother of facility manager, radiation therapist and Key West Native Mercy Gonzalez Hiller.

“My mother died of cancer at the age of 57 in 1991 before there was a cancer center on the island,” Hiller said. “I was part of the first cancer center that opened here in 1994.”

Her compassion for helping those suffering from cancer is carried on throughout the dedicated staff at 21st Century Oncology. Medical Oncologist Dr. Ricardo Quintero-Herencia said it takes a special kind of person to be an oncologist.

“I take the challenge seriously and eliminate fear from my patients,” Quintero-Herencia said.

Because the facility does not see hundreds of patients a day like most do, staff gets to know patients personally and the center is part of the community. Hiller is chair of the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, which assists with bills and costs of qualified cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Every stage and near every cancer are treated at the facility which offers biological therapy, chemotherapy and molecular target therapy. Hiller said many patients come from other areas to get the treatment the Key West facility provides. Snowbirds get treated in the winter months and patients come to the clinic from other areas besides Key West.

Detecting cancer in the early stages makes it more treatable according to Dr. Quintero-Herencia and the clinic offers preventative tests such as mammograms, colonscopies and prostate exams.

Dr. Quintero-Herencia said he takes time out to make sure patients are knowledgeable about their treatments and it alleviates stress.

The most common cancers that Dr. Quintero-Herencia sees are colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma and gynecological cancer. He serves as a consultant as well and recommends whether a patient needs hospice care, home medical care or go to the hospital. Him and the team collaborate with several hospitals and specialists in town to make sure the best treatment is available and every condition is treated appropriately.

Dr. Quintero-Herencia joins Dr. Anesa Ahamad and Dr. Rashmi Chobe, both board-certified in oncology and radiation, at the 21st Century Oncology Center in Key West.

To schedule an appointment give the clinic a call at 305-296-0021. They are located at 3426 N Roosevelt Blvd and their website is

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