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Michael D. Alvarado


Breast cancer surgeon
Melanoma surgeon
Former semipro cyclist, current food and wine enthusiast

Dr. Michael Alvarado is a cancer surgeon who cares for patients with breast cancer and melanoma at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at Mount Zion.

In his research, Alvarado conducts trials of radiation therapy for breast cancer. He also studies blood-based and molecular markers with the goal of improving breast cancer screening.

Alvarado earned a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Arizona and a medical degree at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine. After completing a residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, he completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida.

  • Education

    Dartmouth Medical School, 1998

  • Residencies

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Surgery, 1999

  • Fellowships

    H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Surgical Oncology, 2006

  • Board Certifications

    Surgery, American Board of Surgery

  • Academic Title


Treatments for melanoma and breast cancer are rapidly evolving, and I believe my patients deserve individualized, precision medicine incorporating shared decision-making.

Where I see patients (2)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    194 Ratings
    About our process
    Dec 02, 2023
    I liked Dr. Alvarado. He made talking to him easy and relaxed
    Nov 22, 2023
    Experience allows him the benefit of understanding his patients caring and treatment
    Oct 24, 2023
    He listened to my concerns and expressed an understanding of my fears. He seemed to genuinely care about my situation.
    Oct 21, 2023
    Good listener did not use any unessary medical terms.
    Sep 30, 2023
    What a phenomenon Surgical Oncologist. I've been in Healthcare since 1982 and have never experienced such a kind compassionate thorough humble MD.
    Aug 18, 2023
    Dr Alvarado was fantastic! Very impressed!
    Aug 10, 2023
    Surgeon was great. Anesthesiologist was incommunicative.
    Aug 07, 2023
    It's early in the process but Dr. Alvarado was very informative and answered my questions. I had a concern about an extra procedure and he listened and discussed options with me
    Jul 19, 2023
    Two times that we were there for an appointment with Dr. Alvarado he came to see us very very very late twice more than two hours late. We had to wait for a long long long time and I don't think that is very professional and that should not happens l
    Jul 12, 2023
    A very human doctor who gives peace of mind and security
    Jul 07, 2023
    I can only say I feel I was in good hands..the best!
    Jul 06, 2023
    This was an initial consult
    Jul 05, 2023
    What Who ? Is a care provider ? If a doctor please refer as doctor. Thank you
    Jun 13, 2023
    Such a brilliant team! UCSF's holistic approach is to be supremely lauded! The sheer size resembles a Disneyland of labyrinth magnitude! Personnel cheerfully navigate visitors with a calm demeanor! We felt so embraced with love!
    Jun 03, 2023
    Dr Alvarado is exceptional super caring clear explained options to me. I felt very cared for and safe and will stay in touch with him. Very compassionate clear and positive experience during a very difficult time for me. Thank you Dr Alvarado.
    May 04, 2023
    Wow- Dr Alvarado is the ultimate educator and so relateable. I feel like he guided me to best possible decisions for care and treatment. Calm gentle personable not rushed. Just impressive care. I also feel like my care is based on most current research. I fell over backwards into luck when I got Dr Alvarado as my surgeon.
    Mar 19, 2023
    Dr. Alvarado is obviously an expert in his area. His expertise was evident as he responded to my various queries. He is also an amazing human being - compassionate helpful and a great listener. I am fortunate I had Dr. Alvarado as my physician that day!!!
    Jan 26, 2023
    Dr Alvarado was amazing. This was so informational and helpful. I am extremely grateful
    Jan 17, 2023
    Dr. Alvarado is an incredible caring physician that stay abreast of needs and is on top of all procedures in his field. So thankful for him.
    Jan 14, 2023
    Profesional bueno
    Jan 13, 2023
    So far Iam very satisfied with Dr Alvarado
    Oct 09, 2022
    Dr Alvarado has been kind compassionate and informative-a perfect fit for my needs
    Sep 01, 2022
    They are very courteous and nice people and friendly
    Aug 27, 2022
    Doctor answered all questions and concerns! He was extremely professional and polite! He put my mind at ease in regards to my open incision!
    Jun 09, 2022
    Thank you Dr. Alvarado for the EXCELLENT care and services and for saving my life. I'm so grateful the surgery went smoothly and there were no complications thanks to all of you! I never had any worry as I knew I was in hands of the best surgeon and care team possible. I really appreciate how attentive you were to my needs explaining the procedure and outcomes in easy to understand way and most of all your compassion. I will never ever forget what you and rest of the care team did for me.
    May 20, 2022
    This was for a second opinion consult. If this provider were geographically closer I might strongly consider him for my care.
    Apr 26, 2022
    Dr. Michael Alavarado is a great doctor. I'm so glad I have found him. He explained my condition very clearly. He put me at ease with my condition.
    Apr 05, 2022
    I was recommended to Dr. Alvarado by a close friend. I did consult with two other surgeons. One other was very kind and I suspect an excellent surgeon but lacked the credentials as a breast surgeon. The second surgeon I consulted with was over a hour late ( I hate to be critical as this is sometimes very understandable) yet had not read my charts and thought I had "lobular cancer". I didn't even know what "lobular cancer" was and it certainly wasn't indicated on my path report. So that was awkward although I too make mistakes sometimes.Dr. Alvarado was the best communicator and had obviously done his homework. He also has a nice demeanor and slightly more confident and bolder approach calling in a specialist which really addressed my needs in the upcoming surgery and was a surgical solution I became ultimately comfortable with prior to surgery.
    Apr 02, 2022
    Very Good
    Mar 27, 2022
    Dr Alvarado was great
    Mar 08, 2022
    This doctor is very patronizing. He came into the exam room the first time I met with him expecting to tell me the time and date for a lumpectomy without any explanation about how the surgery was to be done. He laughed and behaved like my illness was some sort of joke. He said he wanted to do a reduction of my unaffected breast and also my affected breast. I repeatedly said No. Rather than asking me what I wanted to be done on MY body he giggled and said that I would get a breast lift and I will look great etc. I am NOT impressed and I am NOT happy with this hideous surgery.
    Mar 07, 2022
    It is now a week and a half after the visit. There were to be additional appointments set up as well as a promised phone call after reviewing images and I have followed up and heard nothing concrete and have no appointments for follow up set up.
    Decorative Caduceus

    Intraoperative Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Breast Cancer Undergoing Breast-Cons...

    Local tumor control is defined as no recurrent tumor in the ipsilateral breast. Patients will be regularly monitored as per the individual center's policy provided this meets the minimum trial criteria for follow-up with physical ...