Kristine E. Calhoun, MD

Kristine E. Calhoun, MD
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Kristine E. Calhoun, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine


“I want you to be as satisfied as possible with your surgery results. For each patient, I weigh the cancer cure along with the cosmetic outcome.”

— Dr. Calhoun

Why did you become a breast surgeon?

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I graduated from medical school. Her surgeon was warm and personable, always keeping me in the loop in addition to taking expert care of my mother. That surgeon opened my eyes to the challenging nature of breast cancer care — the unique combination of interpersonal and technical skill required. Ultimately, the experience shaped the way I relate to patients and their families; good communication is just as important as what happens in the operating room. Being on the other side of the doctor-patient experience has also made me more sensitive to the complicated emotions that come with a breast cancer diagnosis.

What is your role in cancer treatment?

You now have more options than ever before when it comes to the surgical treatment of breast cancer. However, sometimes those options can seem overwhelming: Should I go with a lumpectomy or mastectomy? Do the lymph nodes under my arms need to be removed? What if I don’t want radiation? I’m more than just your surgeon — think of me as your guide to help you choose the approach that is most appropriate for your type of cancer and fits your personal preferences. It’s very important that you fully understand all the options and why I recommend one course of treatment over another, so I encourage you to ask questions every step of the way.

Provider Background

Specialty: Surgery

Area of clinical practice
Breast cancers, breast health

Breast cancer
In 2005, following a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, I was the first female breast surgeon to join Fred Hutch. Now I serve as the associate director of Fred Hutch’s Breast Health Clinic, where I treat patients with breast cancer and benign breast disease. In addition to publishing several scientific articles about breast cancer diagnosis and management, I have co-chaired the symposium “Challenges in the Management of Breast and Thoracic Malignancies.”

Training the surgeons of tomorrow is also one of my passions. As the director of medical student surgical education for UW Medicine’s Department of Surgery, I oversee the clerkship program, which gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients.

Diseases Treated

Benign Breast Disease

Breast Health

Breast Cancer

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

Lobular Carcinoma in Situ

Phyllodes Breast Tumors



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Washington

Medical Degree
University of Washington School of Medicine

Oregon Health & Science University, General Surgery

John Wayne Cancer Institute, Breast Surgical Oncology

Board Certification
General Surgery, 2005, 2013, American Board of Surgery


Seattle Met's 2023 Top Doctors award
Dr. Calhoun has received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care for multiple years.

Seattle magazine's 2021 Top Doctors award
Dr. Calhoun has been recognized as a Top Doctor in this peer-nominated award multiple years in a row.

Clinical Trials

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

View Clinical Trials


Many of our Fred Hutch doctors 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 provider has written.

View Dr. Calhoun'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 doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, 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 or call 206.667.2210