Marilyn Leitch, M.D.

Marilyn Leitch, M.D.

  • S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Breast Surgery, in Honor of A. Marilyn Leitch, M.D.
  • Surgery - Surgical Oncology
  • Surgery for Breast Cancer
  • Breast Disease


A. Marilyn Leitch, M.D., joined UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1986 after completing a fellowship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. At UT Southwestern, Dr. Leitch has spearheaded the establishment of the Center for Breast Care, one of the nation’s leading multidisciplinary groups dedicated to breast cancer evaluation and treatment.

Her work has included understanding the impact of anti-hormonal therapy or chemotherapy on breast cancer prior to surgery; addressing early detection of breast cancer by the development of guidelines and implementation of enhanced screening; and finding ways to make breast surgery less radical, particularly for patients with more than one tumor in the breast and those with involved lymph nodes. She also has a keen commitment to understanding and addressing health care disparities that affect cancer diagnosis and treatment.

To help patients, Dr. Leitch applies the latest advancements in:

  • Management of all types of breast cancer, including infiltrating ductal carcinoma, infiltrating lobular carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), metaplastic breast cancer, cystosarcoma phyllodes, mucinous or colloid carcinoma, micropapillary cancer, tubular cancer, medullary carcinoma, and Paget’s disease.
  • Minimally invasive breast cancer surgery, oncoplastic surgical techniques, neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer and sarcomas

Dr. Leitch was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list for 2018, 2021, and 2022. She was also named a Texas Monthly  Super Doctor in 2018.

As a national leader in breast cancer research, Dr. Leitch’s patients have access to the latest clinical trials, many of which are only available in North Texas at UT Southwestern. 

She serves on the Breast Cancer Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is a member of the board of directors for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, one of the nation’s foremost NCI cooperative groups for cancer research.

Dr. Leitch is fluent in Spanish and French.

Meet Dr. Leitch

Breast Cancer Surgeon

A. Marilyn Leitch, M.D., is a national authority on breast cancer. During her career, she has helped thousands of patients successfully triumph over this disease, and she has been at the forefront of research that has led to groundbreaking advancements and new standards of care for breast cancer.

"We are constantly taking steps to give our patients the best outcomes for survival with the least long-term effects from treatment."

Part of her work has led to reducing the long-term side effects of breast cancer surgery. Specifically, Dr. Leitch recently co-authored a practice-changing study regarding lymph node removal during surgery. This has led to less invasive partial node removal, which benefits patients who are planning breast-conserving surgery combined with radiation. Removing just part of the lymph nodes achieves effective outcomes, while allowing for shorter recovery times. It also minimizes the potential of arm swelling (called lymphedema) and reduces the risk of tingling or numbness in the upper arm and other side effects.

Her focus is solely on achieving the best possible outcomes for patients. Whether it’s providing access to the latest advancements in breast cancer treatment or the latest clinical trials, Dr. Leitch’s patients can count on her commitment to outstanding care and a personalized approach to fighting their disease.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - MD Anderson Cancer Center (1984-1985), Surgical Oncology
  • Residency - University of CA Los Angeles Med Ctr (1979-1984), Surgery
  • Internship - University of California at San Diego (1978-1979), Surgery
  • Medical School - UT Southwestern Medical School (1974-1978)
  • Other Post Graduate Training - University of California San Diego
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • Association of Women Surgeons
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Breast Surgeons
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor, 2009-2013, 2015-2018, 2021-2022
  • Castle Connolly Top Doctors in America 2008
  • D Magazine, The Best Doctors in Dallas 2006
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee Service Award in Recognition of Distinguished Service on the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel, 2003 - 2006 2006
  • Castle Connolly Top Cancer Doctors in America 2006
  • Top MD's in Dallas, Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors for Cancer 2005
  • 2004 Macy's Heart and Soul Award, Dallas Metro Chapter of the American Cancer Society 2004, Volunteer service award
  • American Cancer Society's National Volunteer Leadership Award 2003, Awarded for service on National Board of Directors
  • St. George Medal 2001, American Cancer Society National Divisional Award
  • S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Breast Surgery 2000
  • S.T. Harris Family Chair in Breast Surgery 1999
  • The George & Carol Poston Professorship in Breast Cancer Research 1997
  • State of Texas Governor’s Certificate of Volunteer Service 1993
Books & Publications
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphatic Mapping
  • Breast Cancer

Clinical Focus

  • Surgery for Breast Cancer
  • Breast Disease
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin Cancer
  • Surgery for Skin Cancer
  • Breast Cancers
  • Screening for Breast Cancer
  • Breast Surgery
  • Breast Pathology
  • Melanoma

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Q&A by Dr. Leitch

Marilyn Leitch, M.D.

Dr. Leitch talks about her approach to patient care.