Keith D. Eaton, MD, PhD
I was always drawn toward the sciences, particularly physics and math. But in graduate school, I began to feel like something was missing; the more I pursued these interests, the more I felt removed from people. Then I met my wife, who was in medical school at the time. Through her, I discovered that a career in medicine would be scientifically challenging while also providing that missing human element, so I switched gears and decided to become a physician. What I like about being an oncologist is that I get to treat the whole person, not just their illness. I’m interested in how someone is coping, what their priorities are and how I can help them lead a healthy, fulfilling life despite a cancer diagnosis.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with leukemia and was given less than a 5 percent chance of survival. Kind of like Harry Potter — I’m the boy who lived. As a survivor, I never lose sight of how fortunate I am to support others as they face the challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. I consider patient education to be one of the most important aspects of my work because it empowers you to make informed decisions and participate fully in your care. I’m known as kind, patient, a good listener and an open, compassionate communicator. I’m committed to answering all your questions honestly and really getting to know you.
Specialty: Medical Oncology
I provide care for patients with cancers of the lung, thyroid, head and neck, as well as those diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary (CUP), a rare disease in which the origin of malignant cells found in the body is not known. In addition to providing clinical care, I serve as the medical director for quality, safety and value at SCCA. In this role, I focus on improving cancer care at a systems level, from the way we communicate with patients to the way we deliver care at the end of life, among other areas. From a research perspective, I lead clinical trials investigating novel drug therapies for lung cancer. I also collaborate with colleagues seeking to better understand cancer biology and to develop more targeted treatments.
Whitney Wynn had experienced strange symptoms for years, but her primary care physicians didn’t suspect cancer. Her recurrent yeast infections were dismissed as “just women’s problems” although they were later attributed to the high levels of cortisol being secreted by her tumor.
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 Keith Eaton, MD, was quoted in Everyday Health about the role of genetic testing after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
SCCA's Keith Eaton, MD, PhD, spoke with Everyday Health about dealing with the common side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and fatigue, and what you can do to feel better.
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.