UI Hospitals and Clinics

Breast Cancer Program

It's a matter of trust.

If you have breast cancer or another breast condition, you want the most comprehensive care and expertise available:

  • The latest technologies and advanced screening and diagnostic techniques
  • A multidisciplinary team of experts who specialize in the care of patients with breast diseases
  • Treatments and therapies tailored just for you
  • Follow-up care and emotional support you may need for "life after treatment"

As a breast patient, we know what you’re going through. It is our privilege—and our responsibility—to provide the care you expect and deserve. You can trust us to be with you every step of the way.

What sets us apart

  • Among the nation’s best. Holden Cancer Center is a National Institutes of Health-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 45 such centers nationwide. Our breast center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for meeting and exceeding the highest standards for breast care.
  • Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. We use the most advanced technologies and techniques, including 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis), for screening and diagnosis.
  • Advanced techniques in breast reconstruction. Our center performs the most DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) procedures in Iowa. DIEP is an advanced microsurgical procedure used for patients who desire breast reconstruction using their own tissue.
  • Team approach, advanced treatments. Our breast care experts—surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and others—work together to develop and offer advanced treatments and therapies for you. Treatment plans may include:  
  • Experts dedicated solely to breast care. Our fellowship-trained specialists focus primarily on breast cancer and other breast conditions. This leads to deeper understanding, greater expertise and, ultimately, better care for you.
  • Coordinated care, personal attention. Our multidisciplinary care team includes a nurse navigator who will help coordinate all aspects of your care. We also offer a range of counseling services, support groups, and more for you and your family.
  • Genetic counseling. Our genetic counselor will obtain and analyze your family history to calculate your risk for having a genetic mutation and counsel you on which genetic test, if any, to undergo.
  • Genetics of tumors. We examine the molecular makeup of your cancer cells tumor to help find specific treatments that will work for you.
  • Clinical trials. For you as a patient, this means access to potentially new medications, treatments, or imaging studies not yet widely available.

Comprehensive Care With You in Mind

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa—and one of only 45 nationwide—to be designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Of the approximately 1500 cancer centers and programs in the United States, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent nationally.

To be a "comprehensive" center means our medical teams have met strict guidelines in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research.

As members of an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our doctors, nurses, and staff are among the nation’s leaders in cancer research, education, prevention, and outreach. Our experience—and our expertise—guides the cancer care we provide to patients like you.

Team-based approach

We bring together experts from different areas of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group, focused on a specific cancer type, such as breast cancer.

This team of specialists—surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, genetics counselors, nurses, and others—works together to design a treatment plan that is tailored to your cancer and your specific treatment needs.

The Power of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments not yet available to the public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

Many of our patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials led by Holden Cancer Center doctors or in collaboration with other cancer centers nationwide or the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Our clinical trials for breast cancer patients include:

Vandetanib trial
This study will test the effect of Vandetanib on breast cancer. Prior to surgery for breast cancer, study participants will take a 10-day course of Vandetanib to see if and how the medication affects their cancer. Vandetanib is a drug currently used to treat a rare type of thyroid cancer. If it also is effective in treating breast cancer, it could quickly add another drug to our treatment options.
BMER (Breast Molecular Epidemiologic Resource)
This is a registry that collects information and tissue samples obtained during surgery from patients with breast cancer, or those with an elevated risk for breast cancer. Researchers will be able to access the information and tissue to perform translational research that may lead to advances in understanding and treatment of breast cancer.

See a complete list and learn more about clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Stories From Our Patients

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in our efforts to control—and ultimately cure—cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Team

Breast Surgeons

Breast Radiologists

Breast Pathologist

Medical Oncologists

Radiation Oncologist

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

Genetic Counselor

ARNP in Breast Health

Medical Oncologist

  • Praveen Vikas, MD

Nurse Navigator

  • Jean Arndt, MSN, RN, APN
  • Ann Wolf, ARNP, Women’s Health NP

Specialized Clinical Nurses

  • Marti Kron, RN
  • Julie Lynch, RN
  • Amanda Poock, RN

Social Services

  • Denise Kanne, MSW
  • Mary Brumm, MSW