Breast care clinic at Spire Leeds Hospital

Why should I have breast diagnosis or treatment at Spire Leeds Hospital?

At Spire Leeds Hospital, patients with breast problems are offered rapid access to a team of breast care specialists. You will be seen by a highly skilled consultant surgeon who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. A specialist breast care nurse will be available to you at any stage of your first visit. You will be seen by members of the team who specialise across a range of services, from diagnosis through to treatment and psychological support.

You will be seen by a highly skilled consultant surgeon who specialises in breast disease

Who does breast cancer affect?

All women can be affected by breast disease. The important thing to remember is that not all breast disease is cancer. You should regularly check your breasts so that you can quickly detect changes and seek advice. This applies to women of all ages.

No-one knows  exactly why some women develop breast cancer. We are often asked about the risks of taking HRT and whether this increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer. If HRT is started before and up to the age of 50, then there is usually very little increased risk. If you take it beyond the age of 50 then the risk may increase slightly but may still be outweighed by the benefits of taking HRT. The risk of  developing  breast cancer returns to normal about five years after stopping HRT.

If breast problems are left untreated what will happen?

Early diagnosis of breast problems helps to ensure that if cancer is detected, the chances of successful treatment will be greatly improved.

Do I need a GP referral?

You usually require a GP referral, but not always. 

What happens at the initial consultation?

You will be seen by a specialist breast surgeon who will review your medical history and examine you in the presence of a nurse. In addition to a clinical examination, further tests may be carried out to  help obtain an accurate diagnosis. These tests may take up to an hour and can include one or more of the following:

  • Mammography
    Mammography is a type of scanning that uses low dose x-rays to examine the breast. It is used to help identify breast cancer in its early stages as it can find cancers that are too small to feel.
  • Ultrasound
    Ultrasound is a painless examination of the breast using sound waves instead of x-rays.
  • Core Biopsy
    This procedure is carried out under a local anaesthetic and involves  the removal of some tissue from the breast for examination.
  • Needle Biopsy (fine needle aspiration)
    This involves passing a thin needle into the breast to withdraw some breast cells for analysis.

In most cases we will be able to make a diagnosis during  (or following)  your first visit, but sometimes a further visit is requiired .

What if I need treatment?

The management of your condition will vary depending upon the diagnosis. In many cases it will be possible to reassure patients at their first visit. If a cyst is present, it is usually possible to take out the fluid with a syringe and needle, with excellent results. If a benign (non-cancerous) lump is found, it can be removed under a general anaesthetic.

If tests confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer, your consultant will discuss treatment options with Spire Leeds Hospital’s breast multi-disciplinary team. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. For patients who require a mastectomy (removal of a breast), Spire Leeds Hospital offers access to immediate breast reconstruction surgery if appropriate.

The majority of your cancer treatment can be carried out at Spire Leeds Hospital. All patients with a breast cancer diagnosis will be supported by our consultant breast care nurse at every stage of their treatment. 

Will you send a report to my GP?

Yes, with your consent, a full report will be sent to your GP.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


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Our specialist breast care team

Mr Raj Achuthan, Consultant breast and general surgeon
Mr Keiran Horgan, Consultant breast and general surgeon
Mr Mark Lansdown, Consultant breast and general surgeon
Mr Philip Turton, Consultant breast and general surgeon

Dr David Dodwell, Consultant oncologist
Dr Timothy Perren, Consultant oncologist

Eileen Harris, Specialist breast nurse

Follow the five-point breast awareness code

During everyday activities, such as showering, bathing and dressing, get used to how your breasts normally look and feel. Being breast aware means noticing if there are any changes that are not normal for you.

  1. Know what is normal for you
  2. Check both the look and feel of your breasts
  3. Know what changes to look for and feel
  4. Report any changes to your GP without delay
  5. Attend for routine breast screening if you are over 50

Look for:

  • Any change in size of your breasts
  • Changes in the shape of your breasts, e.g. flattening or swelling
  • Dimpling of the skin (skin  that looks like the texture of orange peel)
  • Change in the position of the nipple, e.g. newly inverted (turned-in) nipple
  • Any discharge from the nipple (unless you are breast feeding and it’s milky discharge)
  • A rash or crusting on the nipple or surrounding area
  • Swelling or a lump in the breast or armpit
  • Veins which stand out more than usual
  • Any changes in sensation, especially if in one breast only
  • Constant pain in part of the breast or armpit

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)