Breast Care Unit clinics

One stop clinics

We ask all our patients to fill in a short questionnaire before they are seen by a doctor or specialist nurse. This includes questions about:

  • any family history of breast problems
  • any medicines including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or the contraceptive pill
  • any previous breast surgery, including breast implants

Your appointment may take several hours so we can make sure that all the necessary tests are carried out. We will discuss your symptoms, undertake a breast examination, and often but not always, offer one or more of the following tests:

  • mammogram
  • ultrasound scan
  • core biopsy
  • fine needle aspiration (FNA)

Occasionally, we may not be able to offer all the tests you need at the same appointment, therefore, we may ask you to come back for another appointment.

Results clinics

This is where we will discuss the results of core biopsies (samples taken from the breast in new patient clinics), plan surgery or discuss histopathology results after surgery and subsequent planned treatment. You will generally be seen by a doctor and a specialist breast care nurse.

Follow up clinics

Most of our patients do not need regular follow up appointments. We offer follow up clinics with surgeons, breast care nurses, family history clinics and breast reconstruction clinics. Once your cancer has been treated we like to support you when you need it. You will have access to the clinics via the breast care nurses if you have any concerns about your breasts.

Wound clinics

Our wound clinics are run by our breast care nursing team on Mondays and Fridays. We also provide monitoring and management for patients after surgery from Monday to Friday. We provide skilled wound and skin care to our patients.

Family history clinics

Our family history clinic is for people who may be concerned about their family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer . In some families there may be a link between breast and ovarian cancer. We can help to clarify this risk by providing a family history questionnaire and arranging a subsequent assessment based on the family history you share with us.

Endocrine menopause clinics

These clinics support women after breast cancer with menopausal symptoms.

Breast cancer is found to be hormone sensitive in 80% of cases and hormone blocking tablets are given to reduce risk of recurrence of the breast cancer for five years or sometimes ten years.

These medications can cause and / or exacerbate menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and joint pains. This clinic aims to support patients on these tablets to complete their treatment by offering alternatives to HRT or changing their medications.

Advice is also offered with regards to all things menopause after a diagnosis of breast cancer as often these women can not continue on HRT that they were taking pre diagnosis.

The clinic also offers advice and guidance to GPs who have queries about a patient with breast cancer and their endocrine treatment, hormone replacement therapy after breast cancer or contraception after breast cancer.

The Women’s Health Concern website have some patient factsheets which you may find useful:

Breast pain clinics

The good news is that most breast pain resolves by itself and is commonly related to either hormonal changes or musculoskeletal issues. We know that there are several things which can help resolve breast pain and we encourage people to try these before requesting a referral to our breast pain clinic:
  • good bra fitting and support – we would suggest wearing a supportive sports bra day and night for at least six weeks to see if this resolves the issue
  • ibuprofen gel
  • good posture – relaxation and mindfulness can be helpful
  • being confident in breast self-examination
  • there is some evidence that taking flax seeds with your diet can help breast pain. Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil have also helped some women, although the evidence for this is less robust.

If your breast pain continues, our breast pain clinic can help.

Useful resources

Dr Afsana Safa, a GP in Westminster, explains the causes of breast pain and why it is not considered to be a sign of more serious disease. She describes how breast pain feels and what steps people can take to help relieve their pain.

The Breast pain booklet is for women who have breast pain, also known as mastalgia. It explains the different types of breast pain and how they are treated.

The Know your breasts: a guide to breast awareness and screening booklet is a guide to breast awareness and screening. It explains the normal breast changes that can happen at different times throughout your life and how to be aware of any unusual changes.

Try Headspace app as a free starting point – there are many mindfulness apps on the market but this is free and recommended by the NHS.

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