Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD
My first year out of medical training, I took care of two women with hereditary ovarian cancer. They ultimately died as a result of their disease, but my experiences with them shaped the trajectory of my career. Those women inspired me to better understand ovarian cancer so that we can predict who is at risk, preventing these cancers from developing or at least curing them if they do develop — so generations of women don’t succumb to this disease.
I always wanted to focus on oncology because I felt like this specialty really fit my idea of who a doctor was: someone who took care of patients with life-threatening diseases and helped them get through a difficult time in their lives. One of the things that really appeals to me about gynecologic oncology in particular is that I get to provide the whole breadth of care from surgery to chemotherapy to radiation and palliative care. I get to walk with patients throughout their whole therapeutic course, and I find that very rewarding.
Specialties and clinical expertise: Gynecologic Oncology
I am a board-certified oncologist who treats patients with gynecologic cancers. At SCCA, I serve as the medical director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program. My interests include studying the genetics of gynecologic cancers and using that knowledge to assess cancer risk and personalize prevention strategies. I also have expertise in using minimally invasive surgery to treat cancer.
As the director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UW Medicine, I help train the next generation of clinicians, surgeons and researchers in this field. In addition to teaching and working with patients, I conduct basic science and translational research, leading national and international trials in ovarian cancer. I co-lead the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Program for the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium.
Dr. Swisher has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year in Seattle Met's annual survey.
Dr. Swisher received this award in 2019 for giving her time and expertise to mentor fellows, residents and students in gynecologic oncology.
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.
SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.
SCCA's Elizabeth Swisher, MD, spoke with Clinical Leader about Stand Up To Cancer's MAGENTA clinical study on remote delivery of genetic testing.
SCCA's Barbara Goff, MD, Elizabeth Swisher, MD, and Barbara Norquist, MD, discuss the benefits of mentoring in research.
Your care team
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.