Top Doctor Top Doctor
The Top Doctor award is a peer-nominated award for providers who give exceptional care.

Mara Y. Roth, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
University of Washington School of Medicine
Physician
UW Medicine
Specialty:
Endocrinology
“I enjoy helping patients understand the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine cancers so they can choose a path forward that matches their life goals.”
— Dr. Roth
Why did you decide to specialize in endocrinology?

Before I became an endocrinologist, I worked as a generalist in a rural hospital in New Zealand for a year. I met a woman who was the matriarch of a large family. She had an endocrine tumor that was causing her body to produce excess hormones. As a result, she had been admitted to the hospital over and over again for symptoms related to the tumor. While the treatment was a fairly straightforward surgery, she had to travel four hours away to get it. It was a big decision for her and her family; we held several family meetings, with up to 80 people in the hospital’s auditorium, to talk the situation through. It was so gratifying when everyone agreed that she should get the treatment and essentially be cured of this endocrine cancer. During this time in my career, I met a lot of people like my patient who were suffering from untreated endocrine diseases. I decided then and there that I wanted to learn more about the endocrine system so that I could help people with these health problems feel better.

Symptom A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea and pain.
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What do you think patients appreciate about working with you?

Endocrine cancers tend to be rare. Many endocrinologists don’t often see patients with these cancers in their practices; however, they are my specialty. I am involved in the development of national treatment guidelines for endocrine cancers, and I stay abreast of what the latest research indicates. I think patients appreciate my level of expertise and knowledge in this area of medicine. I enjoy helping patients understand the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine cancers so they can choose a path forward that matches their life goals. Most people with these diseases require long-term monitoring, which means I get to develop strong relationships with my patients that last for decades. 

Provider background

Specialty: Endocrinology

Area of clinical practice

Head and neck cancers

Endocrine tumors

I am a board-certified endocrinologist who cares for patients with tumors or other diseases of the endocrine system. This complex system regulates many functions in the body, such as sleep and digestion, through the production of hormones. Endocrine tumors affect glands that produce these hormones, causing our normal bodily processes to go awry. At SCCA, I serve as the co-director of the endocrine tumor program. I also see patients at the Endocrine and Diabetes Care Center at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt.

My research at SCCA is focused on thyroid cancer. I am studying new advanced therapies for metastatic thyroid cancer and examining thyroid cancer outcomes with the goal of better understanding survivorship concerns and updating national treatment guidelines for this disease. Another of my research interests is male reproductive physiology. I am a member of the Endocrine Society, the American Thyroid Association and the American Society of Andrology.

Metastatic A metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread to other areas of the body by way of the lymph system or bloodstream.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Brown University
Medical Degree
Brown University Medical School
Residency
University of Washington, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington, Endocrinology
Board Certification
Endocrinology, 2010, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
Internship, University of Washington
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2021 Top Doctors Award

Dr. Roth has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Seattle Met's annual survey year after year.

Research

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.

Publications

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.

Insurance

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.

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