Habib Rahbar, MD

Habib Rahbar, MD

Habib Rahbar, MD

  • Clinical Director, Breast Imaging, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Washington School of Medicine


“I love the colleagues I get to work with at Fred Hutch. Everyone is invested in providing the best possible care.”

— Dr. Rahbar

What do you enjoy about working in breast cancer radiology?

I was initially drawn to radiology as a field because I liked figuring out the puzzle — using technology to peer inside the body and see what was causing a person’s symptoms — and then sharing that information with them. But a lot of specialties within radiology have very limited face time with patients. Breast imaging is an exception; there’s much more opportunity for direct contact with the people I care for. Many of my interactions are short and joyful: women breathing a huge sigh of relief because I’ve told them that their scans are clear and everything looks great. In the scenarios where I do end up diagnosing cancer, I collaborate with talented breast surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists and other staff to create a comprehensive plan for managing the disease. I love the colleagues I get to work with at Fred Hutch. Everyone is invested in providing the best possible care.

What personal experiences have informed your approach to care?

When my dad was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, I learned a lot in terms of how to talk to patients and families, how to read the room and how to make sure that each piece of information I’m providing is clear. Even if you’re knowledgeable about your condition and what could happen, it’s hard to hear what a physician is saying to you because there are all these things going on in the back of your mind that prevent you from focusing and thinking clearly. When I sit down with patients now, I slow down, and I don’t leave the room until I know that everyone understands what I’ve shared.

Provider Background

Area of Clinical Practice
Breast imaging

Breast Cancer
I am a board-certified radiologist who uses medical imaging to screen for, diagnose and manage breast cancer. I also serve as the clinical director of breast imaging at Fred Hutch. In this role, I ensure that our clinical practices are steeped in evidence and that we are providing patient-centered care.

My research is focused on improving the management of ductal carcinoma in situ. Known as DCIS, this early-stage breast cancer begins in the milk ducts and has not spread to the surrounding breast tissue. It is difficult to predict which women with DCIS will go on to develop invasive breast cancer. As a result, sometimes patients can be overtreated. I use advanced imaging (MRI) to identify which forms of DCIS may merit less treatment —for example, surgery rather than both surgery and radiation. My goal is to offer more precise care for patients by better matching treatments to biology through imaging.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Pennsylvania

Medical Degree
University of Michigan

University of Washington, Diagnostic Radiology

University of Washington, Breast Imaging

Board Certification
Diagnostic Radiology, 2010, American Board of Radiology

Internship, Swedish Hospital Medical Center

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch physicians. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your physician can decide if a study is right for you.

View Clinical Trials


Many of our Fred Hutch physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch physician has written.

View Dr. Rahbar's Publications

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dieticians, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.


Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with providers.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210