Senior Medical Director, Clinical Cancer Services
Faculty, UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Lee Wilke, MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncology
  • Surgery (General)
Lee G. Wilke, MD, FACS


Dr. Lee Wilke specializes in surgical oncology with a primary focus on breast cancer. She is the senior medical director of UW Health clinical cancer services. As a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Wilke holds the Hendricks Chair in Breast Surgery and is the vice chair of research for the UW Department of Surgery.

In her clinical practice, Dr. Wilke provides a wide range of services including partial mastectomy with oncoplastic approaches, which combines surgical techniques with reconstructive techniques to remove the cancer while preserving the shape and look of the breast. Additional procedures performed by Dr. Wilke include skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy, sentinel lymph node surgery and axillary lymph node dissections. Together with her colleagues within the UW Carbone Cancer Center, she specializes in neoadjuvant therapy or treating the cancer before surgery as well as multi-disciplinary care for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. Wilke also helps care for patient with benign breast disease as well as those at high risk for breast cancer.

During her career, Dr. Wilke has seen thousands of patients and while that means she has seen many different cases, every cancer and every patient is unique. By sharing information about their diagnosis and walking through the treatments available, Dr. Wilke works to empower her patients. She seeks to understand what is most important to her patient’s quality of life so together, they can approach treatment in a manner that is in line with the patient’s values.

Surgery is just one element of taking care of a cancer patient. There are several components, including the care provided by a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist and those who support these providers. That includes our advanced practice providers, our nurses, navigators and many others. As a surgeon, we have a great opportunity to remove the cancer. It is a privilege to operate on a patient and also a privilege to remove the cancer. In several patients, particularly those with early-stage disease, surgery may be the only treatment needed.

Languages spoken
  • English
University affiliation

Practice locations

Education & credentials

Board certifications
  • Surgery
Medical School
  • Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC

ACS Resident Research Fellow in Immunotherapy, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI 1996-1998

  • University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI
  • University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI


Additional conditions and treatments
  • Axillary Lymph Node Dissection
  • Breast Biopsy
  • Breast Surgery
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Needle-localized Excision
  • Nipple-sparing Mastectomy
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Skin-sparing Mastectomy
  • Research and publications

    Dr. Wilke’s principal research interest is in clinical trials seeking novel methods of treating patients with breast cancer. Dr. Wilke is lead Principal investigator for the UW Carbone Cancer Center NCTN Lead Academic Program UG1 Grant, and is a Board member for the NCCN and NAPBC. She is a collaborator on multiple grants and trials evaluating novel medical and surgical treatments for breast cancer.