Part of the HealthONE Breast Care program, cancer care at Rose Medical Center in Denver brings the benefits of a leading, global cancer network together with the comfort of an intimate, boutique program. As part of Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, our patients have access to leading treatments, clinical trials and advanced resources. And we offer expertise in caring for women at high risk as well as younger patients facing breast cancer. Unique to our program is the way in which we pair these treatments with the highest level of patient service and personalized treatment. We understand the importance of details and take care of each aspect of your treatment so you can focus all your attention on healing.
We provide the support women faced with breast cancer need: a convenient location, personalized treatment, expert collaboration and state-of-the-art capabilities.
Expert breast cancer doctors in Denver
The Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Rose Medical Center breast cancer program includes physicians who are leaders in their field — not only in Denver but across the nation. At Rose, you will be cared for directly by our experienced physicians, not students, interns or residents. Further, each physician within our breast cancer program is board-certified and highly specialized. While in our care, you will see dedicated breast oncologic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiologists — experts who have devoted their careers to treating only breast cancer patients.
Highly personalized breast cancer care
An important aspect of our breast cancer care program is our dedicated breast cancer nurse navigator. Your navigator serves as your primary point of contact and supports you throughout the breast cancer journey, from discovery to recovery.
Your breast cancer nurse navigator will help you and your family throughout the journey and serves as your go-to resource for your breast cancer treatment.
With as robust a program as ours, this resource is invaluable to help patients and their families understand treatment options, to coordinate appointments, to act as a liaison between the patient/family and medical team (as needed) and to provide access to resources and support. Each patient is assigned a nurse navigator when joining our program.
Collaborative, multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment plans
Your care, health and safety are managed by a nationally honored, award-winning hospital led by dedicated staff regularly recognized for their commitment to quality.
Because our team is skilled in providing many different types of breast cancer treatments, we can create a completely customized treatment plan designed for your specific needs. Experts from each area of our program meet on your behalf to coordinate your care; these include oncology nurse navigators, breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, genetic counselors, nursing team members, rehab therapists, breast radiologists, pathologists and case managers. To keep your program as cohesive and convenient as possible, all treatments and supporting services are located within the Rose Medical Center campus.
We also offer unique programs across disciplines to provide advanced care for complex health situations:
Our cardiology experts evaluate and treat patients who may be at risk of heart disease before, during, and after treatment of cancer. Learn more about our cardio-oncology services.
While cancer treatment often is lifesaving, it can leave an impact on your body. The Rose Women’s Hospital is dedicated to staying proactive for women undergoing cancer treatments.
Our oncofertility program hosts a multidisciplinary team of experts and provides counseling and planning for women of childbearing age facing cancer treatment. We also offer multiple options for women facing cancer-related infertility and create a plan for each woman based on her type and extent of cancer. We know timing is crucial for fertility, so our expert reproductive endocrinologist provides priority appointments and discounted treatment options to recently diagnosed cancer patients seeking to preserve their fertility.
Surgical treatments for breast cancer
- Lumpectomy: This surgery removes only the cancerous tissue from the breast, leaving the rest of the breast intact.
- Breast reduction lumpectomy: Women who decide to have a breast-conserving lumpectomy may select to undergo an oncoplastic procedure called a breast reduction lumpectomy. During a breast reduction lumpectomy, a plastic surgeon and breast surgeon work together to remove the cancerous tissue and perform a breast reduction. This creates postsurgical symmetry.
- Mastectomy: A mastectomy is a surgery that removes the breast to treat breast cancer. We offer many types of mastectomy surgery, including simple or total mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, nipple-sparing mastectomy and skin sparing mastectomy.
- Breast cancer surgery with hidden scarring: This approach uses an incision in an inconspicuous area to remove cancerous tissue while minimizing visible scarring.
- Wire-free breast surgery: Prior to the surgery date, breast radiologists will place a small reflector into the cancerous area in the breast. This procedure helps the breast surgeon and pathologist correctly identify the cancerous area during surgery.
- Sentinel node biopsy: The sentinel nodes are the most likely to have cancer in them if your cancer has spread outside the breast tissue. These lymph nodes will be removed during surgery to assess if your cancer has spread to the local lymph nodes.
Breast reconstruction surgery
Breast reconstructive surgery can usually be done at the same time as treatment surgery, depending upon the patient’s diagnosis.
- Implant-based reconstruction: This procedure is done in the same operative setting as the mastectomy and can be done the following ways depending on surgical considerations and patient’s desire of implant size:
- Direct-to-Implant: The plastic surgeon adds the implant either in front of or behind the pectoralis muscle.
- Staged: The plastic surgeon initially places a tissue expander. Then, a second surgery will occur later to exchange the expander with a silicone gel implant to restore the shape of the breast after mastectomy.
- Free-flap (DIEP flap) reconstruction: A portion of skin, fat and blood vessels is harvested from the bikini line and used on the chest to create a breast shape from one’s own tissue.
- TRAM flap reconstruction: Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) uses a flap of skin, fat and all or part of the rectus abdominus (6-pack) muscles to reconstruct the breast.
- Latissimus flaps: For this reconstruction, a flap of skin, fat, muscle and blood vessels are taken from the upper back and used to recreate the breast.
- Nipple reconstruction: For women who are not a candidate for nipple-sparing, the plastic surgeon may offer a tattoo to create the appearance of a nipple or can formally recreate a nipple using tissue from somewhere else in the body. Sometimes tattooing will still be offered to give it a more natural look.
- Fat transfer: Using liposuction, fat tissue can be removed from one area of the body and then be injected in the breast between the skin and the implant to smooth out imperfections that may be visible from the edges of the implant.
Radiation therapies for breast cancer
- External beam radiation (EBRT): EBRT is the most common form of radiation therapy for breast cancer patients. It delivers high dose radiation to the targeted area from an angle, shaping the radiation beam to the exact dimensions and contour of the target to protect healthy tissue in the surrounding area.
- Prone breast radiation: Prone breast radiation is a unique way to administer EBRT. The board is designed to position patients on their stomachs, so healthy breast tissue is isolated away from the body. It also minimizes radiation to the surrounding organs such as the heart and lungs.
- Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI): This type of radiation therapy targets a part of the breast where a tumor has been surgically removed. Often used for women who have had breast-conserving surgery for early-stage breast cancer, this treatment minimizes damage to the surrounding heart, lungs, ribs, muscles, and skin. This treatment is typically deliver over a shorter course (i.e. 5 days).
- Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy: Women with early-stage breast cancer typically receive hypofractionated radiation therapy treatment after a lumpectomy (surgery performed to remove the breast tumor). This treatment plan involves administering more radiation therapy at one time, giving the patient fewer appointments and a shorter course of treatment. The treatment plan aims to reduce side effects and reactions in the skin and also has the benefit of being more convenient for patients.
- Deep inspiration breath holding technique (DIBH): DIBH is a method of delivering radiotherapy to the breast, in order to protect the heart and lungs from radiation. During this treatment, the patient takes a deep breath and holds it while the radiation is delivered. When the breath is drawn, the lungs fill with air, moving the heart away from the chest and decreasing the amount of radiation the heart receives.
- Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT): IORT is a breast cancer treatment that involves a patient being able to complete an entire dose of radiation therapy during their lumpectomy surgery.
Medical oncology for breast cancer
- Chemotherapy: This form of treatment uses cancer-killing drugs that are injected or given orally.
- Scalp cooling/hair loss prevention: A common side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. These systems use cold to narrow blood vessels in the scalp, reducing the amount of medication that reaches the hair.
- Hormone therapy: Some forms of breast cancer respond to hormone therapy, which slows or stops the growth of the tumor by blocking the production of hormones or interfering with the hormonal effects on the cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: Some forms of breast cancer respond to immunotherapy, which uses drugs that stimulate the immune system to identify and kill cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy: This treatment is used to target changes in the cells that cause cancer.
- Staging and lymph node involvement: Our team uses imaging tools and biopsy to determine if and how much the cancer has spread to create the least invasive and most effective treatment plan.
All of our breast cancer patients are referred to our oncology rehabilitation program. While you may think of rehabilitation after completing your treatments, we encourage all patients to “prehab” with oncology rehabilitation. This helps determine baseline measurements, detect potential functional impairments, allow for early treatment and intervention, and develop a postoperative care plan for rehab.
At our on-site Oncology Rehab clinic, you can receive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy at any stage of your cancer treatment. We aim to ease symptoms, increase function, and improve quality of life through the program. Fully customized to your unique needs, aspects of cancer rehabilitation include:
- Battling cancer-related fatigue
- Energy conservation
- Fall prevention
- Improving balance
- Improving memory and thinking
- Overcoming weakness
- Walking and stair safety
Patients participate in one-on-one therapies with highly experienced physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.
Young Women’s Program
When a woman who is 40 years old or younger is diagnosed with breast cancer, she faces unique challenges. At Rose, one in five women treated are in this stage of life, and 10 percent of breast surgeries are performed on women between 18 and 44 years old. During this time, many women build careers, complete school, and/or start a family. We want to meet you where you are.
We provide individualized, comprehensive care based on the latest evidence-based research. Our program often includes:
- Clinical trials
- Fertility services
- Genetic counseling
- Integrative medicine
- Support services
We strive to ensure you receive treatment designed especially for you, using state-of-the-art capabilities.
Ancillary breast cancer services
At Rose, we support you beyond your traditional medical treatments with supplemental programs and services to enhance your care journey. In addition to the expert physicians on your care team, you have access to numerous other health and wellness professionals to provide customized support and optimize your treatment outcomes. Your nurse navigator can help you get connected to these services.
- Genetic counselor: Helps you and your family derive personal meaning from genetic cancer risk assessments and genetic testing results.
- Rehabilitation therapists (physical, occupational and speech): Evaluate, set goals and provide treatment to address limitations and impairments affecting optimal functional capacity in activities of daily living occurring at work, home or in recreation.
- Integrative therapists: Provide wellness therapies, such as massage and acupuncture, to complement your medical treatments and enhance your health and strength during treatment and recovery.
- Behavioral health professionals: Support your emotional well-being during the breast cancer journey by providing resources, counseling services and/or behavioral health medication management, if needed.
- Dietitian: Screens for risk of nutritional deficiencies, assesses nutritional status, provides education on healthy eating and creates individualized eating plans and goal setting for optimal nutrition during treatment and recovery.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225 or chat online at askSARAHnow.
Breast cancer at HealthONE
Breast cancer is most common in women, but can also affect men. Often, breast cancer is detected through a lump in the breast or a noticeable change in the size, shape or skin of a breast. Mammograms are crucial for diagnosis and early detection of breast cancer.Learn about Breast cancer