For Physicians at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center  

Meet the new docs


We’d like to introduce you to eight physicians who have joined us in the past year…

Rebecca Armendariz, MD. is a palliative medicine specialist. She specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal, myofascial and neuropathic pain. She also focuses on improving patients’ functional deficits and enhancing quality of life goals for patients and their families.

After graduating from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Dr. Armendariz completed an internship in internal medicine and her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond. She also completed post-graduate training in oncology pain and hospice/palliative medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

“I believe cancer care is multidimensional and includes treating the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual symptoms that affect a person's life,” she said.

Julie Billar, MD, board certified by the American Board of Surgery, specializes in breast and lymph node surgeries.

A graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Billar completed her internship and residency in general surgery at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Scottsdale, where she received the General Surgery Peer Service Excellence Award. She also completed post-graduate training in breast surgical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif.

“As a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, my practice is solely dedicated to patients with breast disease,” she said. She relies on “a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer care so each patient leaves with a solid understanding of what to expect and knows her plan.”

Daniel Chamberlain, MD, specializes in treating head and neck, lung and gastrointestinal cancers. A board certified radiation oncologist, he is a graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Dr. Chamberlain completed his internship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Scottsdale and his residency at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center in Conn.

“I chose to work at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert because I wanted to be able to offer my patients the best care available,” Dr. Chamberlain said. “When I heard that Banner Health was partnering with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to form a new cancer center in Arizona, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to offer world-class care here in the Phoenix area.”

Philippe Lanauze, MD, is an interventional radiologist specializing in diagnosing cancer.

He completed a fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and his residency in radiology at MD Anderson.

Anna Likhacheva, MD, is a radiation oncologist who specializes in treating breast cancer, gynecologic malignancies and lymphoma with radiation.

A graduate of the University of Arizona College Of Medicine, Dr. Likhacheva completed her internship at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and her residency at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“I know that Banner MD Anderson brings the values of caring, integrity and discovery to the care of cancer patients in Phoenix,” Dr. Likhacheva said. “I am very fortunate to work with a tremendous team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and therapists here whose dedication ensures a positive experience for patients who come through our doors.”

Jignesh Patel, MD, specializes in women's imaging, as well as body and cardiovascular MRI and is board certified by the American Board of Radiology

A graduate of Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey, Dr. Patel completed his residency at the University of North Carolina and his internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Winner of the Alexander R. Margulis First Time Presenter Award, Dr. Patel’s goal is simply “to provide the best radiologic services possible in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

Santosh Rao, MD, specializes in medical oncology, breast oncology, survivorship, cancer prevention and integrative oncology. He wants to help those with cancer or at high risk of developing cancer to confront this disease.

“I believe in a holistic approach to cancer care prevention as well as secondary prevention, focusing on all aspects of care,” he said. “I believe that no matter the circumstance, as caregivers we can offer hope and support and educate patients how they can participate in their own care.”

Board certified by the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, Dr. Rao is a graduate of the University of Michigan and completed his residency and internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Matthew Ulrickson, MD, specializes in hematology, oncology and stem cell transplantation, treating various types of lymphomas and leukemias.

Dr. Ulrickson completed a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. He completed his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He received his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

“I want physicians in the Phoenix area to know that I believe reputations are earned. I want the opportunity to prove that I will take excellent care of their patients. I want physicians to know that if a patient is referred for stem cell transplant, I will make every effort to return the patient to their care as soon as it is appropriate.”

He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society of Hematologic Oncology and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.


Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Higley Road and US 60
2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 256-6444
(855) 256-6444

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