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Laura J. Esserman


Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center

Dr. Laura Esserman, a nationally known breast surgeon, directs the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the Mount Zion campus. Her work is devoted to developing new, more effective ways to care for and empower breast cancer patients during treatment. She tailors treatments for individual patients using biology, personal preference and constant feedback regarding outcomes of care.

Esserman earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and completed her medical and surgical training at Stanford University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in breast oncology at Stanford and later earned a master's degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She joined UCSF Medical Center in 1993.

  • Education

    Stanford University, MD, 1983

  • Residencies

    Stanford University, General Surgery, 1991

  • Board Certifications

    Surgery, American Board of Surgery

  • Academic Title


  • Languages


Where I see patients (1)

    My work

    Cutting-edge breast cancer care

    Learn about the latest findings on breast cancer risk, screening and treatment from Dr. Esserman.

    Should low-risk tumors still be called cancer?

    Dr. Esserman explains how using a different term could reduce unnecessary worry over cancers that are unlikely to be life-threatening.

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    80 Ratings
    About our process
    Nov 22, 2023
    Nov 03, 2023
    Dr. Esserman is a compassionate doctor and always spends as much time as needed with me. I wish more doctors could be like her. She is AMAZING.
    Oct 12, 2023
    She is very very busy Hard to schedule runs late- due to high demand for her.
    Oct 03, 2023
    Dr Esserman is a treasure
    Apr 02, 2023
    Dr Esserman is INCREDIBLE as a heart-connected caring physician. There are not number high enough to tell you how wonderful she is!
    Mar 30, 2023
    Only negative was the wait time which was very long
    Dec 29, 2022
    Dr. Esserman and her entire staff are EXCELLENT
    Dec 17, 2022
    Dr Esserman shows compassionconcern ability to listen hold a hand and was worth the wait needs support to shorten her day and give her relief
    Nov 08, 2022
    She eased my concerns immediately. She was/is extremely friendly approachable competent and confident with her diagnosis. I look forward to working with her to make her job easier and my health prognosis positive. UCSF has some very good clinicians and I'm lucky to have the opportunity to use them.
    Oct 23, 2022
    Im extremely grateful for the excellent care!
    Oct 21, 2022
    The waiting is truly unbearable at this point- has gotten worse in last 2 years! I am confident she has received feedback but still puts too many patients in her daily Appts to handle reasonably!
    Oct 13, 2022
    Dr. Esserman is excellent. She took the time to answer my many questions and is clearly so knowledgable a leader among leaders in field. I feel fortunate to be receiving treatment as part of her DCIS trial.
    Sep 08, 2022
    Dr Esserman and team are top notch!
    Sep 01, 2022
    I adore Dr. Esserman. She is an amazing person and exceptional physician.
    Aug 31, 2022
    Dr. Esserman is a superstar.
    Aug 25, 2022
    Dr Esserman is the best doctor I've ever had - I'm so glad I found her and I do send her referrals whenever possible.
    May 05, 2022
    Dr. Esserman is the reason I do not need a mastectomy.
    May 03, 2022
    She's absolutely outstanding and well worth waiting for. I'm Very grateful for her excellent care!
    May 02, 2022
    Dr. Esserman is who all doctors should strive to be like. She cares about her patients and takes a personalized approach vs one size fits all. I appreciate this so much.
    Mar 20, 2022
    Dr. Esserman had recommended that I go back on Raloxifene which helps both with prevention of breast cancer and bone health (I have osteopenia).
    Feb 12, 2022
    The doctor is very smart and probably one of the very best in her specialty but you have to be ready to spend the entire afternoon waiting and not everyone can do that
    Decorative Caduceus

    MammaPrint, BluePrint, and Full-genome Data Linked With Clinical Data to Evaluate New Gene EXpr...

    Create a large scale registry of full genome expression data with clinical data to investigate possible new gene associations with prognostic or predictive value.


    Decorative Caduceus

    I-SPY COVID-19 TRIAL: An Adaptive Platform Trial for Critically Ill Patients

    Time to reach a durable COVID-19 level 4 or less or discharge at COVID-level 4 or lower (except for discharge to another hospital), and time to death (mortality). Data will be analyzed for 3 groups: All COVID-19 level 6/7 (those i...


    Decorative Caduceus

    Phase IIB Trial of Bazedoxifene Plus Conjugated Estrogens

    Change in fibroglandular volume assessed on 3-D digital mammogram by Volpara software.


    Decorative Caduceus

    Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk (Wisdom Study)

    Proportion of cancers diagnosed at Stage IIB or higher


    Decorative Caduceus

    Immunotherapy in High-risk Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

    To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and recommended dose for subsequent expansion cohort, of intralesionally administered pembrolizumab in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast.