Life After Cancer

Text Size A A

E-Mail to a Friend






secret  Click to Play Audio


Barbara J. Silko, ARNP, PhD

"My goal for patient care is to listen to my patients with a focus on their expectations and their goals so that I can be a resource and guide for them. I want to be available to them to address their health- and wellness-related concerns and questions," says Barbara. 

Barbara has been a nurse practitioner since 1995. Her expertise is gynecology oncology, women's health, women's wellness, and follow-up after cancer and high-risk surveillance. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; her Master's in Nursing from University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Washington. She earned her ARNP training and certificate from the University of Washington as well.

"I have always enjoyed working with people," she says. "Nursing has been a perfect fit in working with people and helping them achieve good health."

Barbara's very first position as a nurse was in a hospital taking care of women with cancer. "I found that I was drawn to learning about how cancer affects women and how women approach their self-care. I love being part of a team that empowers women to take good care of themselves."

Barbara has been involved in a variety of clinical research studies. While in graduate school she conducted research on self-care practices of women and of women's definitions of health and wellness. Most recently she has been involved in a study looking at cognitive changes associated with effects of chemotherapy.

"In my lifetime I hope we will develop better screening tools for some cancers such as ovarian cancer," she says. "I hope that we will find a way to improve the body's immune system to recognize cancer cells and fight them or neutralize them."

When Barbara isn't working she is spending time with her family and traveling. She enjoys gardening and yard work -- "That is my therapy," she says. She also loves to bake and cook, especially when she can do so for loads of friends and family. "I play softball and I try to walk regularly for exercise because I can relax and focus on myself."