The Epic CARE Minute with Dr. Irene Lo – Session 3

Let’s face it, Healthcare related myths can be dangerous. That’s why General Surgeon, Dr. Irene Lo is here to give it to you straight on The Epic CARE Minute.


Meet Epic Care’s Newest Practice Managers

We’re excited to acknowledge and celebrate three new Practice Managers who recently joined the Epic Care team. Each are dedicated to guiding operations within their practice and working closely with our staff to provide an excellent experience for our patients all year long.


The Epic CARE Minute with Dr. Irene Lo – Session 2

Being open and honest is critical to managing your health. That’s why we’re answering your most frequently asked questions on The Epic CARE Minute. Watch to learn more about the greatest misconceptions of Surgeons


The Epic CARE Minute with Dr. Irene Lo – Session 1

We’ve put in place many precautions to help keep you safe should you need care for any conditions. We’re open, we’re available, and we’re ready to care for you. Here’s Epic Care Physician and General Surgeon, Dr. Irene Lo to tell us more on The Epic CARE Minute!


MD HIGHLIGHT: MEET DR. LO

Dr. Irene lo is a highly skilled General Surgeon at Epic Care who is as energetic as she is kind and compassionate. Now practicing at Epic Care’s Antioch site, her clinical expertise, technical skills, and high-quality outcomes are exactly what our patients seek when considering surgery. 

When Dr. Lo is not in the operating room you can find her on a peloton bike, running a race to fundraise for cancer research and treatment, or helping to lead Epic Care in her physician leadership role as Medical Director of Surgery & Quality. Read on for more about Dr. Lo: 

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Dede’s Story

Diagnosis: Brain Cancer

“Exactly 7 weeks and 4 days after my husband’s death, I woke up and was severely disoriented. Leading up to that morning, I had no other symptoms. I walk 15 miles a week, play golf, and live a healthy life, but I could not get my bearings. After calling a friend for guidance, we thought I may have had a stroke.” 

Dede was hesitant to go to the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, but suspecting a stroke, she took the advice of her friends and went right away. Six days later, scans discovered a mass in her brain, and Dede was headed into surgery at Eden Medical Center. 

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Juneteenth

Today, June 19, celebrates Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day.

It was on this day in 1865, news of the emancipation and the Civil War’s end was proclaimed to southern slaves and enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free.

As an organization we recognize our responsibility to our patients and the community to learn more so we may continue to demonstrate and build upon our shared values of respect, inclusivity and equity.

We celebrate Juneteenth by learning, listening and opening a dialogue among our teams and within the community to discuss what this day represents in our history and the challenges the Black community continues to face today.

On behalf of Epic Care Leadership, thank you for your continued trust and support as we do our part to remain part of the changing future.

To our patients,

We recognize the events impacting our local community and society at large. During these unprecedented times, our priority remains the safety and well-being of our patients, physicians, staff and families.

Our organization is founded on an unwavering commitment to our patients and our values are centered on creating space where everyone is welcome, respected, appreciated and safe. 

As an essential business, here’s how we’re responding to current events and to ensure your safety:

  • Closely monitoring the schedule of planned protests 
  • Identifying cities imposing curfews nearby Epic Care locations
  • Closing some practices early to allow patients and staff time to get home before the curfews take effect or protests begin.  

If these changes impact an existing appointment time our team will be sure to contact you directly. In the meantime, we encourage you to follow the detailed guidance of the cities in which you live and work. Please take care of yourselves and your families, and please be safe.

You have our commitment to keep you informed here or by following our social media platforms @epic-care. If you have questions, please call your practice location directly or email feedback@epic-care.com

With love, 

The Epic Care Family

Welcome, Dr. Irene Lo to Antioch!

Effective June 1, Epic Care is proud to welcome Dr. Irene Lo as the latest General Surgeon to join our team of expert multi-specialty physicians. We look forward to Dr. Lo’s presence and expertise in Antioch as she continues to serve patients in our east county community. 

For more information about Dr. Lo, check out her bio here. For a surgical consult, please call our New Patient Coordinators at 925.418.0305. We look forward to meeting you!

Epic Care Joins the American Cancer Society on Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. American Cancer Society has  launched #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, 2020 , a global day of unity as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Click the image below to listen to Dr. Irene Lo share her story during COVID-19. Thanks Dr. Lo for your great work in the community and unwavering support of our patients — we appreciate you!


For more information about the Giving Tuesday movement or to donate to the cause, please visit www.cancer.org. Thank you!

Chip’s Story: Recurring Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

75-year-old Chip has fought cancer a few times before. After working as a precision machinist for thirty-seven years, Chip battled basal skin cancer, and later on, prostate cancer. While taking a shower one day, Chip discovered a new pea-sized lump in his groin. This discovery prompted the Bay Area native to make a doctor’s appointment quickly. After several tests, it was confirmed to be a recurrence of prostate cancer and a new finding of pancreatic cancer. As he has done throughout life, Chip approached this discovery head-on, with a positive attitude, and sought an immediate treatment solution, “Cancer is not going to get the best of me,” Chip recalls.

After some discussion, Chip’s care plan included surgical removal of the cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments with Epic Care Cyberknife. The surgical oncology team at UC Davis performed the surgery, and soon after, Chip met with Epic Care’s Medical Oncologist, Dr. Ernest Lo.

After several months of chemotherapy, most patients understandably reach their limit, but Chip shared, “Don’t get me wrong, the side effects are tough, but the more that’s poured into me, the better I feel. I wasn’t going to stop. I was ready for the sixth round and would continue until I made it through round twelve.”

Chip did just that, but after the series of chemotherapy was complete, a new spot was discovered on Chip’s liver. “Thankfully, no rock goes unturned with my Epic Care crew!’, he says.  Chemo began again to ensure the metastatic liver cancer did not grow, and Epic Care’s team of doctors agreed CyberKnife would be the appropriate next step.

Chip’s first CyberKnife treatment with Radiation Oncologist Dr. Gautam Prasad was on his birthday. “It was the greatest birthday gift.”, recalls Chip. And best of all, Chip’s treatment was painless and completed in three short sessions. Soon after CyberKnife treatment was complete, Chip returned to the Walnut Creek CyberKnife Center to review his results. Dr. Prasad showed two images; one where the tumor was and another where it used to be. “The cancer was gone,” Chip exclaims!

After returning home, Chip remains in close contact with his Epic Care team and is provided frequent updates to track his tumor markers. According to the American Cancer Society, “Tumor markers are substances found in the blood when cancer is present and are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer.”

Since CyberKnife treatment, “I am staying busy, doing things around the house, enjoying time with my lovely wife, and making sure grass doesn’t grow under my feet,” Chip says. He continues chemotherapy treatments with Dr. Ernest Lo, and keeps a picture of the CyberKnife machine in his wallet to share with friends, and remind them of the incredible treatment options in our community that may help them, too!

Chip has some advice for others who are beginning their cancer journey. “Keep pushing, enjoy life, and get up on the right side of the bed every day. There has been incredible progress made that can give you years of life and help you beat cancer. I’m not ready to check out yet, and thanks to Epic Care, I don’t have to.”

Gina’s Story: Confidence In Comprehensive Cancer Care

It was a Tuesday. I’ll never forget.

After completing a series of tests, the waiting period before my diagnosis was brutal, probably because I knew something was up. I remember driving home after my last doctor’s appointments before being diagnosed. Having lost my mother to cancer the year before, I began talking to her on my way home, asking for her help and the strength to fight through what I felt was to come.

A few days later, I received the call from my doctor to come in right away. It was cancer. I knew it. Immediately after sharing my diagnosis, my doctor grabbed her cell phone and called Epic Care Medical Oncologist, Dr. Shoba Kankipati. Like clockwork, two days later, I arrived at Epic Care in Dublin for my multidisciplinary appointment. I met with each of my new Epic Care MDs, Fellowship Trained Breast Surgeon, Dr. Vivian Le-Tran, Medical Oncologist, Dr. Shoba Kankipati, and Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Mariam Korah.

On Thursday, I walked into Epic Care and could tell I was in good hands. Since day one, my entire experience couldn’t have been more seamless. First of all, these doctors are badass – reassuring, confident, understanding, work seamlessly together, and above all, are experts in their field. But it didn’t end there – the staff was extremely attentive. With each visit my doors were opened, I was greeted with hugs hello and never waited more than 5 minutes for treatment.

After my first appointment, I left confident in my decision to undergo a mastectomy. A few weeks later, I underwent surgery to remove breast tissue and lymph nodes, and insert expanders to prepare me for reconstruction surgery. Overall, I found the recovery to be relatively easy, but that’s not the end of my breast cancer journey. Once healed from the mastectomy, my reconstruction surgery will be done by Epic Care’s Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Kirman. As I reflect on my experience thus far, I’ve found nothing about cancer is a quick process. In fact, there’s often curveballs along the way. Soon after my mastectomy, pathology reports confirmed I needed to complete radiation treatment. This meant, waiting another 6 months before I may plan for the final phase of reconstruction. Albeit tough, through it all, I have felt incredibly cared for and supported by the Epic Care team.

Looking back, having lost many loved ones to cancer, I was diligent with annual physicals, maintained an active lifestyle, and completed regular mammograms. It still happened to me.  My advice for other women; get your regular mammograms, catch it early, and find an incredible team to help carry you through. My husband always says, “healthcare is too expensive,” but I say, “so are funerals!”. If you have to join the fight against cancer, be glad you can do it with Epic Care by your side. I can confidently say these doctors saved my life.


On behalf of the entire Epic Care Team, we thank Gina for sharing her story, and more, for her continued trust and support. To find out if Epic Care is in your network, learn more about our multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, or for a second opinion, please call (925) 418-0305.

We look forward to being your partner in health!