Anoop Patel, MD
I first became interested in cancer from an intellectual standpoint; I wanted to understand how and why our own bodies seem to betray us through the formation of cancer cells. But as I went through medical training, I began to see and empathize with the human side of this experience. Witnessing what my patients go through, and how intensely brain tumors can alter their lives, motivates me to learn more in the lab, to fill in the knowledge gaps so that we can improve treatment options and outcomes. Neurosurgery feels like one of the frontiers of medicine; there’s a lot we know, but also a lot of discoveries waiting to be made. I feel very lucky that my clinical practice and research efforts drive and support one another.
Cancer isn’t just a bunch of cells in a dish — it’s something that happens to people and families, changing the trajectory of their lives. A big part of what makes this career so rewarding is being able to make a difference for my patients and their loved ones. Sometimes, that difference is striking. I remember one family thanking me for “giving” them their dad back after I removed a brain tumor that had caused him to experience negative personality changes. More often, the ways I help patients are less dramatic but no less meaningful, such as coming up with a treatment plan that helps them reach important goals like spending more years with their grandchildren or going on a bucket-list trip. I learn as much as possible about each patient’s situation so that I can walk them through the unique set of challenges brain tumors present and create a care plan that aligns with their wishes and priorities.
Specialties and clinical expertise: Neurological Surgery
I am a neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of tumors affecting the brain, skull base and spinal cord. At SCCA, I provide care for patients who have metastatic tumors, which are cancers that started elsewhere in the body and have spread to the brain or spinal cord. I am a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the North American Skull Base Society.
My research is primarily focused on understanding tumors at the cellular level. I study how one tumor cell differs from another and how those differences can affect a patient’s response to treatment. My goal is to use this information to design effective treatment regimens for patients with glioblastomas, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA 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.
Many of our SCCA physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this SCCA provider has written.
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SCCA 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.