Shaveta Vinayak, MD, MS
I tend to see a lot of younger women and women with families. I find that I can relate easily to their lives and their concerns, like how treatment may affect their fertility or how to support themselves as well as their young children. I’m also a big proponent of women’s health; I enjoy teaching women how to take care of themselves, educating them about what having breast cancer really means and how treatment may affect them. The other great thing about this field is that it’s very data-driven. There’s a wealth of breast cancer literature to draw from that helps us make good treatment decisions. Breast cancer isn’t a journey that anybody wants to go on, but through my expertise and positive attitude, I strive to offer my patients hope.
I’ve dealt with cancer in my own family, so I understand what it’s like to be on the other side of this experience and the stress it puts on relationships. When first diagnosed, many people feel an overwhelming anxiety. I like to help you work through that by breaking down the process of treatment into more manageable chunks, taking it one step at a time. Research is also a big part of what I do, so I make a point of talking about clinical trials that may be appropriate. Participating in trials can be a chance to advance your own care and the field of breast cancer in general.
Specialty: Medical Oncology
I am a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. My research is focused on an aggressive subtype known as triple-negative breast cancer, which tends to affect younger people and those with a BRCA1 gene mutation. I design and lead clinical trials that explore targeted therapies like immune checkpoint inhibitors, which help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells, and PARP inhibitors, a type of drug that may prevent cancer cells from fixing the damage caused by chemotherapy. PARP inhibitors may hold particular promise for people with BRCA-related cancers. In addition to treating patients and conducting research, I also lead education seminars about triple-negative breast cancer for African American women, who are three times more likely to be diagnosed with this form of cancer than women of other ethnicities.
Lianne, a young mother of two, was taking no chances. Initially, her primary care provider was reluctant to order a mammogram, but Lianne persevered. However, the test showed nothing of concern. Given her family history, Lianne didn’t trust the results, and decided to get a second opinion at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch 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 Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.
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SCCA's Shaveta Vinayak, MD, MS, was featured on a Patient Power panel discussing advice for breast cancer patients who test positive for COVID-19.
SCCA's Shaveta Vinayak, MD, spoke with Patient Power about using telemedicine for patients with breast cancer.
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