The University of Colorado Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program
Call (720) 848-1030 to request an appointment
Walk-in screening mammography appointments
Call (720) 848-1030
to find out more.
The moments and days after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis are full of questions, anxiety and fear.
At the Diane O'Connor Thompson Breast Center, located at University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado Cancer Center, we can help you turn that fear and worry into determination, perseverance and hope.
An NCI-designated Center
At our Denver-area campus, you’ll find the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Rocky Mountain region (one of only 40 in the United States).
You’ll be treated by physicians who are faculty members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. They are internationally respected breast cancer physicians backed by top researchers, specialists and surgeons.
[Watch Tina Finlayson, MD, discuss recent findings about lymph node removal]
Our dedication to a cure for cancer is unwavering. That’s why our 5-year survival rates are up to 20% higher than state, regional and national averages.
To begin your journey with a committed and caring team of breast cancer experts, call us today at (720) 848-1030.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer types range from early, non-invasive cancer to more aggressive cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. Mammography offers the best opportunity to detect problems before there are external physical signs. Some breast cancers are detected by a lump, skin changes or nipple discharge.
Breast Cancer at a Glance
- More than 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women are diagnosed each year.
- Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer.
- Breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes). Heredity accounts for approximately 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancer cases.
- Although breast cancer is most common in women, it can also affect men. The number of cases in males, however, is small.
- Breast cancer survival rates have been increasing since about 1990, with larger increases in women younger than 50. This is believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening, increased awareness, and improved treatment.
- At this time, there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Source: American Cancer Society
Just as important as finding the best team of physicians, nurses and staff is finding a team of people who know that cancer is more than a physical disease and are committed to treating each patient as a whole person. At the Diane O'Connor Thompson Breast Center, the same caring team of doctors and support professionals will be with you throughout your entire journey.
- Your team is made up of experts from many fields: surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers, geneticists and counselors. Most specialize specifically in breast cancer treatment and support. They review your test results, your progress and discuss the next best step in your care with each other and with you.
- All your records, consultations, test results and all the provider notes about you and your treatment’s history are in an electronic medical record, available to all the doctors within the University of Colorado Hospital system who may be called in from our other specialties to help treat you.
- You also have access to complementary and alternative medicine through our doctor-led Center for Integrative Medicine. It can be of great help in minimizing the side effects of other treatments and, just as importantly, increasing your energy.
- We’re proud to say that cancer treatment at UCH includes compassionate support and education for you and your entire support network. We’re also committed to improving breast cancer awareness in Denver and the rest of the West.
Advanced Research and Treatment
At the regional leader in cancer research, treatment, and support, you get specialized care not available anywhere else in Colorado.
- World-renowned experts in cancer diagnosis and staging, which are the first steps for getting proper cancer care.
- Advanced technologies, from the improved speed and diagnostic accuracy of digital mammography and tomotherapy to the latest in patient education and self-care.
- Access to many new treatments, including the latest drugs and vaccines for treating breast cancers, through our involvement in clinical trials.
- Access to pioneers in breast reconstruction surgery, including DIEP flap surgery, in which tissue from the stomach is used to reconstruct the breasts.
- The Young Women's Breast Cancer Translational Program (YWBCTP), a clinic dedicated to the newest research and treatment for young women's and pregnancy-related breast cancer.
Your Nurse Navigator
A breast cancer diagnosis, and the many treatment issues it raises, can be overwhelming.
With this in mind, UCH offers patients the services of a nurse navigator to guide them through their course of care in what is often an emotional journey.
Find out more
Newly Diagnosed? Second Opinion?
Join us on Tuesday mornings!
Meet with our team of medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, plus radiologists and pathologists. All in one appointment.
- The only multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic from Chicago to the West Coast.
- Our radiologist, who specializes in reading breast cancer scans and films, will review your films.
- Our pathologist, who specializes in breast cancer pathology, will review your tests and slides.
- You'll meet one-on-one with the doctors, who will both talk and listen.
Call (720) 848-1030 to request an appointment.
In the News
9News.com: Inflammatory breast cancer patient
(video begins with brief sponsor message)
New mom Megan tells how she self-diagnosed a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer.
Her doctor, UCH oncologist Virginia Borges, MD, comments on inflammatory breast cancer and Megan's quick and prudent actions when she noticed her symptoms – leading to prompt treatment at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
Removing lymph nodes from breast cancer patients?
The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study suggesting that previous standard lymph node removal practices in women with certain types of breast cancer may not always be the advisable course to take.
Tina Finlayson, MD, a surgical oncologist at the University of Colorado Hospital and a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, offers her view.