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Dr. Abraham Lebenthal is a thoracic surgeon and pleural mesothelioma specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare System.
Lebenthal is a former Israeli military platoon leader and company commander of an elite infantry unit, taking special pride today in helping veterans who served their country.
He has taken lessons he learned on the battlefield — where he earned a Letter of Distinction for Bravery — and applied them to his career as a surgeon, often relating them to patients with mesothelioma.
“I have a deep admiration and respect for those who served in the military. One of the things you learn is: There is no such thing as ‘I can’t.’ You learn to take responsibility and ownership. And you better have precise execution. It’s the same in medicine,” he said.
He is aggressive in his approach to treatment of this disease and plays a key role on the elite cancer treatment team in Boston, where he originally trained under renowned thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker.
He was born in Israel, grew up in the U.S. and graduated from the Hebrew University Medical School. He did his surgical training at Hadassah Ein-Kerem, Hebrew University, at the Harvard Medical School in Boston and at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
He specializes in diseases of the gastroesophageal junction, along with lung cancer, esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. He has experience in therapeutic endoscopy techniques, video-assisted thoracic surgery and advanced laparoscopy.
He spent three years working in the Division of Thoracic Oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He returned to Boston, where he had previously finished a clinical fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Lebenthal originally wanted to become a fighter pilot, but the Air Force rejected him because he was missing the tips of two fingers on his left hand. "I'm right-handed, anyway," he said.
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