Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

One Physician’s Inspired Fight Against Hodgkin’s Disease

May 12, 2017

Over a decade ago, while she was in medical school, a dear friend of Dr. Vershalee Shukla was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. While supporting her friend during a course of radiation therapy, Dr. Shukla was inspired to specialize in Radiation Oncology. Now a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Shukla continues to support patients battling the disease as both a healthcare provider and as an advocate of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). 

Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the immune system. Specifically, it is a cancer of immune cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Two specific types of lymphoma are categorized as Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, while there are over 81,000 cases of Lymphoma diagnosed each year. Lymphoma can occur at any age, but is the most common cancer in young people. Often, it is a very treatable cancer and most live for a long time after being diagnosed.

Treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on both the grade and stage of the cancer.  This can vary from both chemotherapy and radiation therapy to chemotherapy alone. Some patients can even be followed closely without treatment until the lymphoma causes symptoms.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated based-upon the stage of the disease. Most patients receive some form of chemotherapy and some also are treated with radiation therapy. For early-stage disease, the treatment includes a short course of both radiation and chemotherapy to minimize the toxicity of both treatments.

Dr. Vershalee Shukla has been nominated Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and is raising money to help bring awareness and funding to combat the disease.

“As you know, everyone wins when cancer loses, and thanks to your support, my efforts will help fund the therapies and treatments that save lives, not someday far in the future, but today when many patients need it most,” says Dr. Shukla.

Dr. Shukla has been working in Phoenix for the past five years, and has been recognized as a “Top Doc” in Radiation Oncology by her peers in Phoenix Magazine for the past three years.

To support Dr. Shukla’s fundraising efforts, visit