Leslie A. Swanson, ARNP

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Teaching Associate
University of Washington School of Medicine
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
UW Medicine
“I think of my patients as family and treat them the way I would my own parents, grandparents or siblings.”
— Leslie
What do you enjoy most about your job?

Since I can remember, I always wanted to be a nurse. I love getting to know my patients and their families. Working with cancer patients in the outpatient setting allows me to do this. I get to hear about their life experiences, their families and their goals. I like to think of them as part of my family. My patients have had a huge impact on me. I love supporting them outside of the clinic by being involved in many activities like volunteering at SCCA House and participating in Obliteride and local 5Ks that support cancer research.

How do you approach challenges?

I understand that in tough situations such as a “bad scan,” I need to acknowledge that every patient takes in and processes information differently. One patient may want to know everything right away. Another patient may not know the background information and needs to be caught up. I work to support my patients and redefine goals based on their needs. I want them to be informed about the process, potential side effects and intent of treatment, so they can make informed choices that are appropriate for their personal goals.

Provider background

Gastrointestinal cancers

We have clinical trials open for almost every disease within gastrointestinal cancers. Clinical trials give patients the opportunity to receive treatments at the forefront of research. This doesn’t mean every patient’s treatment is suitable for a clinical trial, but we are here to help a patient navigate that decision. When approaching cancer treatment, quality of life is also very important to me. I connect my patients with SCCA supportive care services, which may include palliative care, social work or nutrition to ensure we provide the best possible care.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Seattle University
Medical Degree
Duke University
Board Certification
Adult and Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, 2015, American Nurses Credentialing Center


Clinical trials

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.

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.


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.

For providers