At Spire Washington Hospital you can be seen very quickly, reassured if there is nothing suspicious and if you are diagnosed with a cancer we can offer you the most modern and up to date treatment, including all forms of breast reconstruction and symmetry surgery.
"Here at Spire Washington Hospital patients are able to get rapid access to breast care specialists"
Mr David Browell, Consultant Breast Surgeon at Spire Washington Hospital
At your appointment you will be seen by a consultant surgeon who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease.
There is digital mammography and breast ultrasound scanning available in the clinic with urgent one stop reporting.
Our breast care specialist nurse, Amanda Pinkerton, is available throughout your diagnosis and treatment.
Who does breast cancer affect?
The vast majority of people affected by breast cancer are women but a small number of men can also suffer from the disease.
The important thing to remember is not all breast lumps are cancerous but regular self examination will detect changes in the breast and if you have any concerns then seek advice.
Early diagnosis greatly enhances the chances of successful treatment. No one should be afraid to come forward if they have concerns however small.
Do I need a GP referral?
This is usually required but access can also come through health screening and other routes.
What will happen at the initial consultation?
You will be seen by a specialist breast surgeon and breast care specialist nurse who will review your medical history and examine you. In addition to a clinical examination, further tests may be carried out to help obtain an accurate diagnosis, for example:
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 is a painless examination of the breast using sound waves instead of X-rays.
- Core biopsy
This procedure involved the removal of some tissue from the breast for examination.
- Fine needle aspiration
This involves passing a thin needle into the breast to withdraw some breast cells for analysis.
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.
If tests confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer, your consultant will discuss treatment options with you and all patients are discussed at the breast multi-disciplinary team meetings. Treatment is tailored exactly to your needs and may include a combination of surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and herceptin.
The majority of patients can be treated with breast conserving surgery but if a mastectomy is required immediate reconstruction can be undertaken if appropriate.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is offered as standard to reduce the risk of lymph oedema.
Breast reconstruction is available for all patients who require it, this can be done during the primary surgery or it can be offered as a staged or delayed procedure.
Women who have had mastectomies several years ago can come just for reconstruction.
Symmetry surgery is also available to give an excellent cosmetic result with uplifts/mastopexies or implants. Nipple reconstruction is also available.
How do I make an appointment?
If you would like to make an appointment with a consultant please contact us on 0191 418 8636
Written by consultant breast surgeon, Mr David Browell, MB BS, BSc, FRCS