Carol vanHaelst, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Breast cancer, hematologic disorders, gastrointestinal cancers, gynecologic cancers
What makes this practice unique are the close, long-term relationships that you develop with patients.”
What do you enjoy about practicing oncology?
What makes this practice unique are the close, long-term relationships that you develop with patients. Unlike an emergency room physician who may only see a person once, I see my patients frequently for months — sometimes years — as they move through treatment and into survivorship. I enjoy getting to know patients and families, talking in depth about their lives and diagnoses and helping them think through complex health situations so that they feel empowered to make their own decisions.
I am a board-certified hematologist-oncologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience. I specialize in the treatment of breast cancer; however, I also care for patients with benign and malignant blood disorders as well as gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers.
My background includes working at the Mayo Clinic and co-founding a hematology-oncology practice in Kirkland, now known as SCCA at EvergreenHealth. In addition to caring for patients, I also conduct clinical trials investigating new drugs for early and advanced breast cancer. I am excited to be part of this exceptional and world-renowned cancer center.
How do you approach care and treatment?
A new diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming, so during our first appointment I focus on explaining the diagnosis and its implications, the research behind treatment recommendations and why I might recommend one approach over another. It’s also important to clarify what matters to you — your preferences and goals — before making any decisions. Many patients find it helpful to know that I stay involved throughout active treatment and even when it ends, providing monitoring and follow-up care. Although my goal for each patient is to provide the greatest chance for a cure or long-lasting remission, I also focus on minimizing the long-term impact of therapy on your well-being.
Catholic University of Louvain
Waterbury Hospital, Internal Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Oncology; Boston University School of Medicine, Hematology
Medical Oncology, 1989; Hematology, 1988; Internal Medicine, 1985, American Board of Internal Medicine