Shannon O’Connor, MD

Maryland Oncology Hematology
Rockville | Germantown

QWhat motivates you in your work?
A I am passionate about women’s health. As an oncologist, I focus on my patient’s quality of life during treatment. I have an equally strong interest in and dedication to prevention and screening strategies.

QWhat was a major turning point in your career?
A Twelve years ago, I joined an all-male practice where I was able to leverage my skills as a woman physician to build our breast cancer program and a cancer genetics program. It was rewarding to help grow our team of female physicians.

QWhat do you look forward to when you go to work each day?
A Many women with breast cancer and gynecologic cancers prefer to receive care from a female oncologist, therefore the vast majority of my patients are female. I look forward to connecting with them. I love the bonds that we share.

QWhat is a recent development in your field?
A There is so much new data in the field of genetics. Newly discovered genes help guide me in recommending personalized screening protocols. For those patients that meet high risk criteria, I provide a full counseling session followed by a blood test that can determine if they carry a positive mutation. 

Anyone with a positive mutation receives a personalized screening plan for prevention and reduction of cancer risk. Even if genetic testing is negative, some women need extra breast cancer screening based on family history. There are medications, lifestyle changes and other cancer prevention modalities that we discuss in full.