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Dr. Anthony Back

Medical Oncology
Seattle, WA
38 years experience male

Locations

Office

Seattle, WA

Address

825 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA
Directions

About

Bio

I'm board certified in medical oncology and palliative medicine, and practice at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which is a joint project of the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Medical Oncology

Doctor Q&A

63 Answers
24 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Find the right one: A good counselor or therapist will spend some time making you feel comfortable. You can prepare yourself by getting ready--make a few notes about what... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Dying is often slow: Many dying people are able to hear, interact, speak, and connect in different ways with those around them--don't underestimate how much you can relate... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
A lot!: Being a caregiver is a lot of work, and self-care is very important. Try to arrange your work so that you get enough rest, have some time off, and get... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Physical therapists!: A physical therapist can show you show to safely help with transfers and other physically demanding activities--be sure to get help to avoid injuring ... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
It's indeterminate: A CEA of 9 is above normal (less than 5) but a number of other things can cause a mild elevation -- most commonly smoking. So the meaning of 9 depends... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Cancers of lower GI: These cancers start from the lining of the lower GI tract, and usually are found when patients have blood in their stools or when the patient has a co... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Many possibilities!: It's not clearly cancer from what you're saying, although i can see why you would be worried. But more workup is needed.
A 24-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Call the hospice nur: While some patients do moan in the last phase of life, i would ask the hospice nurse to assess her to see if you should try some extra pain medicine. ... Read More
A 81-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
It's only for some: Provenge (sipuleucel-t) is used in a very specific clinical situation with prostate cancer--definitely not indicated for everyone. The best treatment ... Read More
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
No but...: Intimacy is really important! if having sex would suggest: use a condom because her immunity may not be normal, think extra lubrication because chemo ... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Yes, internally: Soft tissue sarcomas can occur in the abdomen where you would not feel a lump because it is too deep.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Both ease symptoms!: Pallative care in a hospital is often delivered by a consulting team of clinicians, or in a specialized inpatient unit. Patients at any stage of illne... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Fatigue, anemia...: Are common, other symptoms include bruising or an infection. The symptoms are caused by low blood counts (the leukemia cells suppress bone marrow prod... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Sometimes: It depends on exactly where the cancer is located, and you need a surgeon experienced in this technique.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Tastebuds dulled: Chemo affects tastebuds and they misfire , giving the sensation of a metallic taste. This is usually temporary and will improve after you stop the che... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Many possibilities: Some doctors don't feel comfortable, some don't have the communication skills. But you can find another doctor or clinician who can answer your questi... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Another approach: Tell your parents that you want to be prepared if anything happened to them medically that left them unable to tell you their wishes--so that they do ... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Not a single food: There isn't one food you must eat every day--really the healthiest approach is to eat a variety of foods, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Another dimension: In the us, 'hospice' also can be used to refer to the hospice medicare benefit--which provides a payment-per-day for patients who go on hospice. Thus ... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Not usually: It would be pretty unusual--the isoenzymes are subtypes of ldh.
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Prob no special risk: Pituitary adenomas can occur at any age. Most are benign. Some do make hormones that can be detected in the blood. For some, surgery or radiation are... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Many treatments!: Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells, and the person needs a workup that includes special lab tests to determine the exact subtype of leukemia--tha... Read More
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Yes: Social workers can usually direct you to a palliative care team, and most palliative care teams include a social worker.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Things like CPR: Often these decisions include: --cpr --mechanical ventilation (a breathing machine) --being in the icu --being at home in hospice --who should sp... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Go to a spine clinic: The best approach to back pain is at multidisciplinary clinics where they have physiatrists (rehab), surgeons, and physical therapists--most people do... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
High level needs: Hospice is extremely useful in skilled nursing facilities for patients who have a high symptom burden and cannot be managed at home or do not have a h... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Hospice IS PC: Palliative care is now a broader term for care focused on quality of life. Palliative care includes hospice, which can be inpatient or outpatient.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Find resources!: Make sure you have the information you need--and realize it might be different than what your spouse needs. Make sure you take care of yourself and ha... Read More
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Fortunately not!: Stomach cancer is not linked to a higher chance of colon cancer.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
One more thing: I would just add to the prior answer that the average survival is about 2 and a half years--but note this is an average.
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Yes but rare: Not a very common place for this particular cancer to go.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Quality of life: For the vast majority of hospice patients, tube feeding actually makes them more uncomfortable--they retain fluid, have more secretions, have to deal ... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Not known: There isn't any scientific study that shows that eating particular foods or following a particular diet can lower CEA levels. But if you have a mild C... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Also...: Palliative care can be broadly defined as care that optimizes quality of life regardless of the stage of illness, and can be given simultaneously with... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
A team!: Hospice teams involve a doctor, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, pastoral care, volunteers, choreworkers, and others. A patient and family... Read More
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Sort of...: Rheumatism is a general term for aches and pains. I'm wondering if you mean "rheumtoid arthritis", a specific kind of joint problem that is related to... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Yes, but uncommonly: There are studies of large databases that show some inherited risks for both--but still most cases are not associated with an inherited risk. http:/... Read More
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Serious illness!: Anyone with serious illness and symptoms, stress, or the need to consider goals of care. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of illness and ca... Read More
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
There are rewards: For most nurses and doctors in palliative care, it is very rewarding to work with people who are facing serious illness, and sometimes the end of life... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Another thought: I'm wondering if you meant, is hospice care compassionate? The idea of hospice is to provide specialized medical care for someone who is near the end ... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
If its localized: For colon cancer that has not spread to another organ on ct you will need a surgeon, yes!
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Sometimes: Obstruction can be a sign of colon cancer, but obstruction can also occur for non-cancer reasons. A common non-cancer reason is adhesions, which are c... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Depends on the stage: Stages 1, 2 and 3 are usually treated with surgery, sometimes combined with chemo, and can be curable. Stage 4, when it has spread to other organs, is... Read More
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Depends: There are rare families with hereditary pancreas cancer--if you are in one of those you should find a clinic that specifically addresses them--2 i kno... Read More
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
True, but...: While gerd can put you at higher risk, remember that overall esophageal cancer is an uncommon outcome of gerd!
A member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Very treatable!: Many rectal cancers are curable, from stage 1-3 (with lower stage having better statistics), and even stage 4 is treatable, meaning that treatment pro... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Well, yes...: Sometimes the same leukemia can come back, sometimes you can have 2 different types of leukemia.
A 87-year-old male asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Symptom control!: For most patients, focusing on comfort and quality of life is most important. Scans are not usually very helpful in the final stages, and can cause mo... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
A short list: A study of what patients want included the following: -excellent pain and symptom control -not prolonging life inappropriately -achieving a sense o... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
Medical Oncology 38 years experience
Just ask: Many caregivers are from a different generation--but those differences can be bridged with open communication, a big heart, and listening. Keep in min... Read More

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Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

2
Recommendations
149
Thank you notes
HealthTap member
Mar 30, 2015
Dr. Back is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. Back is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Thank you. The doctor did look at her and said she seems fine and its just that she's confused and disoriented
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful!
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful!

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

Harvard Medical School, MA
Graduated 1984MD

Awards

Top Doctor, Seattle Magazine 2012
Pathfinder in Palliative Care, American Cancer Society
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leadership 2012

Affiliations

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less