Patients’ Local Hero Is at Penn Highlands Mon Valley

If you ask Edna Williams and Matthew Coy to name their heroes, some of the names may differ, but there is one person that both of them will agree on – Dr. Zachary Senders! Both Mrs. Williams and Mr. Coy met Dr. Senders following cancer diagnoses earlier this year.

“On January 1, 2024, I was taken to Penn Highlands Mon Valley in excruciating abdominal pain,” said Mrs. Williams of Monessen. “A CT scan revealed that I had cancer in my small bowel. I was in surgery the next day.”

Dr. Senders, who is a board-certified surgical oncologist that provides highly specialized multidisciplinary surgical care at Penn Highlands Mon Valley, removed portions of Mrs. William’s large intestine, and small intestine as well as lymph nodes.

“I attribute my successful recovery to my daughter, who is a registered nurse who helped with by rehabilitation and the wonderful care I received from Dr. Senders.”

She continued, “Dr. Senders is thorough, honest and he did everything possible to remove all of the cancer. He is a fantastic doctor, but most of all he is caring and nice.”

Matthew Coy, of Belle Vernon, agrees with Mrs. Williams. “I am a huge fan of Dr. Senders. He’s a consummate professional and I admire him.”

When Mr. Coy had his colonoscopy earlier this year, it led to a diagnosis of Stage 2-B rectal cancer. Dr. Senders removed six to eight inches of his large intestine. Mr. Coy is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Hahne Cancer Center at Penn Highlands Mon Valley.

Dr. Zachary Senders, a board-certified surgical oncologist with Penn Highlands Mon Valley prepares for surgery.

“Dr. Senders is straight forward with me,” said Mr. Coy. “I’ve told him that although I am taller than he is, I look up to him!”

Mrs. Williams and Mr. Coy are among the increasing number of people who are having surgery and receiving advanced therapies to treat all types and stages of liver, pancreatic, bile duct and gastrointestinal tract cancers at Penn Highlands Mon Valley.

“People in the Mon Valley region with gastrointestinal cancers can receive all of the care that is provided at larger facilities right here in their community and still be close to their loved ones,” said Dr. Senders

According to Dr. Senders, both patients recovered very quickly and successfully. He emphasized the importance of regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, because sometimes cancer can be present without any symptoms.

“At Penn Highlands Mon Valley, we have the ability to treat both early stage and advanced cancers,” he said. “I tell everyone ‘stay up to date on your screenings and do not ignore symptoms.’ Even if we find an advanced cancer, there are many therapies available today for positive outcomes.”