Meghan R. Flanagan, MD, MPH
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
I’m constantly searching for answers that allow me to better support you as my patient and advance the field of breast oncology.”
What do you enjoy about being a breast surgeon?
I love that I get to care for patients from a surgical standpoint while also developing a relationship with them over time. It’s so gratifying to be able to sit down with a patient who is going through one of the scariest experiences that there is and say, “I think we can cure your breast cancer,” and then be able to do exactly that. As a breast surgeon, I also get to combine my passion for providing hands-on care with my interest in research. It’s inspiring to be active in a field like breast oncology that is so dynamic — new techniques and therapies are emerging all the time. To ensure I am treating my patients with the most up-to-date information, I must always be learning.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am a surgical oncologist who focuses on the evaluation and treatment of breast disease, both cancerous and benign. I am a member of the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Association of Women Surgeons. I was also a presenter at the 2017 symposium “Hot Topics in Breast Cancer: Breakthroughs in Prevention, Screening and Therapies.” My research areas have included lymph node evaluation, patient satisfaction and chemoprevention among women at high risk of developing breast cancer. I’m also interested in exploring how to improve cancer-related outcomes and access to health services. During my residency training in general surgery at the UW School of Medicine, I received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study cancer epidemiology and biostatistics, an experience that inspired me to complete a master of public health degree.
How do you like to work with patients?
Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer is life-altering, and yet the exact way it changes your life is different for every person. Cancer is a highly individual experience — from the treatment you pursue to how you choose to cope with the disease and transition into survivorship. With this perspective in mind, I integrate your values with best clinical practices and emerging research to present you with the most effective surgical options. As one member of a multidisciplinary team, I place a high priority on collaborating with my colleagues in oncology and other disciplines so you can feel confident about your treatment recommendations.