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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
    196 Ratings
    About our process
    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.
    Jan 25, 2022
    UCSF is full of top professionals and I feel confident in their abilities to diagnose treat and care for me as their patient.
    Dec 18, 2021
    G experience
    Dec 07, 2021
    No Dr. Alvarado was very pleasant and thorough. The staff with him were also pleasant.
    Nov 16, 2021
    I can't say enough about how safe and cared for I feel when I deal with all aspects of ucsf mission bay.
    Nov 16, 2021
    Excellent Dr. Listens thoroughly
    Oct 28, 2021
    Sep 29, 2021
    If I had not had them in writing I would not have remembered anything as the after care instructions provided after my surgery went in one ear and out the other.
    Sep 16, 2021
    At this point in my care provided by Dr. Alvarado has been minimal I feel we are in the gathering of information. Until it comes to absolute decision making I can't commit to referral The possibility is looking highly.
    Sep 13, 2021
    Overall my experience with this provider was really good and I am thoroughly satisfied.
    Sep 13, 2021
    I have been rather irrational and everyone I have interacted with has been patient and kind and reassuring.
    Aug 21, 2021
    Really liked dr Alvarado
    Aug 19, 2021
    This was my first conversation with Dr. Alvarado and it was a delight to speak with him. I felt he was very interested in my care and Felt he is going to do everything he can to help work with my situation and other attending physician. I found him to be very kind pleasant and very caring. I am Very happy that he will be treating me.
    Aug 08, 2021
    Dr. Alvarado was very kind and thoughtful. He got me scheduled for surgery quite quickly. He listened to my concerns and was responsive to them. Everyone on my care team has been impressive and kind. They take time to treat you like a person and are super competent. I definitely would recommend UCSF.
    Jul 07, 2021
    Dr Alvarado explained the risks of ALND vs radiation and trial outcomes based on clinical data. He was very informative and answered my questions before I asked them! I found Dr Alvarado to be engaging personable reassuring and comprehensive.
    Jun 23, 2021
    May 27, 2021
    so far the UCSF portal requests are not in line with what the provider told us to anticipate
    Apr 22, 2021
    I cannot say enough nice things about this care provider. He is possibly the nicest most helpful care provider I have ever encountered!

    Selected research

    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 ...