Dr. Nora Hansen is a national leader in breast cancer research and treatment. She is the director of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center at Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital where she has a key role in the development and growth of the center and increasing clinical research. Dr. Hansen's primary clinical focus is in the management of both benign and malignant breast disease. She is active in direct patient care, research and administration. Dr. Hansen is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
At the Lynn Sage Center, Dr. Hansen supports ongoing research into the causes and treatments of breast disease and strives to open up clinical trials to more patients. She is a proponent of translational research where techniques and treatments developed in the laboratories are used in the clinical setting. Doing this she is actively ""bridging the gap"" between clinicians and researchers. Additionally, she is the Director of the Society of Surgical Oncology's Breast Fellowship at the Lynn Sage Center.
Dr. Hansen received her medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York and went on to the University of Chicago, where she completed a general surgical residency program and a fellowship in surgical oncology. After completing her training, Dr. Hansen spent a year on staff at Northwestern in the Department of Surgery before moving on to the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California
Dr. Hansen spent eight years at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, where she was the Associate Director of the Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Breast Center prior to coming back to Northwestern. At John Wayne she was involved in several clinical trials, including ones that focused on evaluating new techniques to reduce the extent of surgery, such as sentinel node biopsy and radiofrequency ablation of breast tumors. A less invasive but highly effective technique to search for cancer cells, the sentinel node biopsy is used to determine the stage of the patient's cancer by detecting if it has spreads to nearby lymph nodes - without using radical surgery. The technique has become the standard of care for breast cancer patients and was pioneered at the breast center at John Wayne.
Dr. Hansen is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and holds memberships and committee positions in many national surgical and surgical oncology associations. She has written over 50 articles which have appeared in peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Hansen has authored seven book chapters which are included in major breast cancer text books. Additionally, she has over 60 presentations at national and international meetings. Dr. Hansen has mentored fifteen surgical fellows in addition to numerous medical students and residents.