When I was a medical student, I was on rotation with a surgeon who happened to work in a sarcoma clinic. Sarcomas are cancers that grow in the bones and connective tissue like muscles or tendons. I watched as three different physicians — the surgeon, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist — sat down together with a patient to talk about his treatment options. That was my first clinical exposure to radiation oncology. I loved the team-based approach to care and the close collaboration among people who have different areas of expertise. What also appealed to me was the chance to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives in multiple ways, providing curative therapy as well as symptom relief.
The optimal cancer treatment for each person may not always be black and white. There may be multiple treatment pathways available that could be a good fit. While it’s helpful to have options, trying to choose among them can also create a lot of anxiety for people. In those situations, I remind patients and families that you can’t make a wrong choice, because the option you choose is going to be most aligned with your goals and what’s important to you. If you understand what those goals are, then whatever decision you make is the right one. Many patients seem to find that perspective liberating.
Hematological malignancies, brain and spinal cord tumors
I am a board-certified radiation oncologist with experience treating a variety of cancers. My main area of focus is working with patients who have hematological malignancies — which include cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia — as well as tumors affecting the brain and central nervous system. I provide care at Fred Hutch, UW Medical Center and Proton Therapy.
My interests as a clinical researcher include how advanced techniques, such as proton therapy, can improve patient outcomes. I also study how patient characteristics and tumor subtypes affect the response to radiotherapy. A third area of interest is the benefit and delivery of radiation to relieve symptoms of cancer (known as palliative radiation), especially near the end of life.
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School, 2014, Radiation Oncology
Radiation Oncology, 2015, American Board of Radiology
Internship, Brigham and Women's Hospital
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.