By Sasha P. Rincondr. Mary Ann K. Allison is a practicing medical oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada specializing in breast cancer. According to Dr. Allison, she enjoys getting to meet and interact with a wide variety of people who are appreciative of the care they receive.
“Even though my patients are faced with a significant illness, as well as stress, they are generally very gracious,” Dr. Allison said.
Dr. Allison’s healthcare career path was influenced by her family. Her mother was a nurse and her father worked in hospital administration. Before medical school, she worked as a medical technologist in a hematology lab where she gained practical experience. During medical school, she enjoyed learning internal medicine but maintained a strong interest in oncology and hematology due to her past work experience. Dr. Allison went on to earn her degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine as well as her fellowship in hematology-oncology at Baylor University Medical Center-Dallas.
For the first 15 years of her career, Dr. Allison notes the changes in medicine were slower, but now they are more rapid, due to the advanced technology. However, one aspect she feels hasn’t changed is the one-on-one doctor to patient interaction and relationship building that makes all the difference in a patient’s care.
“It has been—and always will be most important to maintain a level of trust with your patient,” Dr. Allison adds.
Seeing a variety of patients with different types of cancer, Dr. Allison affirms it’s always important to recognize the changes in the body and health as the first line of defense in healthcare. Early detection is key, making it crucial that women always be aware of their bodies. Dr. Allison advises this, “Be persistent if you notice something strange and always advocate for yourself, you must remember that nobody knows you better than yourself.”
According to Dr. Allison, Las Vegas has evolved into a leader in the medical industry. “I see more patients from out of state coming to Las Vegas for treatment. It’s very reassuring to the residents of Nevada that they can stay in town for treatment and remain with their families during the process instead of being uprooted to another state,” Dr. Allison said.
She credits Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, which provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and breast surgeons on one team. Due to their affiliations with The U.S. Oncology Network and UCLA, patients have also benefited from access to newly developed treatments and numerous Phase I, II and III clinical research trials.
In 2008, Dr. Allison along with her patient, Connie Bernstein, helped open The Caring Place. She credits the nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing the body, mind and soul of all those touched by cancer as an important resource in the community. The Caring Place provides a variety of free programs and services which compliment medical care including meditation, gentle yoga, reiki art and crafts, activities and nutritional support.
Dr. Allison has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud mother to two children. Always having made it a priority to put her family first, she finds great pleasure in the fact that she was able to fully participate in her children’s lives growing up.Dr. Mary Ann K. Allison Credentials: MD, FACP
Medical Specialty: Medical Hematology-Oncology