Poorni M. Manohar, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
What I enjoy most about working with patients who have breast cancer is the opportunity to be a source of comfort and support throughout their entire journey, whether we are pursuing a cure or striving for the best quality of life possible despite cancer.”
Why do you practice oncology?
My father was a primary care doctor, and his clinic was attached to our house in India, where I grew up. He would be gone from morning till night, sometimes seeing up to 100 patients a day. His commitment to his patients was part of what drew me to the field of medicine and fueled my own passion for helping people. Practicing oncology allows me to develop meaningful relationships with patients over time while also improving the standard of care through research. What I enjoy most about working with patients who have breast cancer is the opportunity to be a source of comfort and support throughout their entire journey, whether we are pursuing a cure or striving for the best quality of life possible despite cancer.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. My approach to care is holistic, integrating both your physical and emotional well-being. I cherish the opportunity to listen to your concerns, share in decision-making and develop a treatment plan that aligns with your personal goals and wishes.
In addition to working closely with patients and families, I am privileged to partner with the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR). Based at Fred Hutch, this research institute uses cancer-related data to improve the delivery of care. I have been awarded multiple grants to assess the management of patients with metastatic breast cancer across Washington state. My goal is to better understand disparities in access to care. I hope to build a career in academia that focuses on developing a model of accessible, affordable and sustainable care for all patients.
Tell us about an interaction with a patient that had a significant impact on you.
One of my fondest memories is of a patient I first met when she was in her late 20s. A mother with a young child, she had metastatic breast cancer that was resistant to many treatments. Despite everything she was facing, she always wore a smile to every visit. Her grace in bearing each setback and complication floored me. Her bravery and resilience continue to inspire me. She was a bright light in her family’s life as well as my own. To this day, especially on the tough days, I remember her courage (and her smile!), and it rallies me to keep going, to keep pushing, to keep fighting for my patients.