What to expect
Many of the women (and men) attending our clinics are understandably nervous about receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. It is worth remembering that almost 95% of those attending a breast clinic will not have a breast cancer.
Once you arrive, you will be greeting by our receptionist who will confirm some basic details. We understand that you may feel anxious and would encourage you to come along with a supportive friend or relative. It would be sensible to check with the clinic beforehand to ensure there are not restrictions (COVID 19).
During the first part of the appointment, we will take a medical history paying particular attention to previous breast history, mammograms, family history and identifying any risk factors. We will then examine your breast and armpit area and may take your permission to draw on you any areas of particular interest. We will then ask you to redress yourself and if appropriate will recommend some imaging. This is undertaken in the radiology department by an experienced Consultant Radiologist.
Women over 40 years may be recommended a mammogram (x-ray of the breast). We will request previous mammogram films taken elsewhere so we can compare your current images with previous images. An ultrasound may also be recommended – usually of the area that we have drawn on. If we identify a lump in a woman aged 25 years and above we may recommend a biopsy. This is where we numb the area (local anaesthetic) and a small needle takes a fragment of tissue for analysis. Results may take a week to come back. Alternatively, we may recommend a fine needle aspiration test (cytology) where cells are syringed through a needle.
Following the imaging you may be recommended a follow up appointment once our Consultant Pathologist has examined the tissue and made a diagnosis. This process may take 1-2 weeks. Further imaging may be considered like an MRI scan.
We are happy to provide a second opinion service for our patients. To provide this advice we will require to take a full history and examination, obtain previous imaging and pathology including reports and have details of any previous surgery or therapy.