Though 90% of lumps are benign, it’s vital to get them checked.
Breast lumps develop when the tissue grows abnormally and they can often fill with fluid, turning into cysts.
According to Cancer Research UK, even though the vast majority (90%) are harmless, finding one can be a time of anxiety and worry as to whether it's cancerous. It's vital to get breast lumps checked out quickly - both for your own peace of mind and because early diagnosis is often the key to successful treatment of breast cancer.
At Spire you can be sure of a thorough assessment including scans and top quality treatment from our expert consultants if needed.
Finding a lump in your breast is a frightening experience, even though most of them are benign. It's rare, but men can also develop lumps, though they are less likely than women to regularly examine themselves with this in mind.
We use a triple investigation process to diagnose breast lumps - a physical examination, imaging and biopsy if necessary. We have modern, well-equipped hospitals and practice some of the latest diagnostic testing and medical treatments. We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other breast care that you may need during or after your investigations.
If you think you’ve found a lump you may have already seen your GP, and want a second opinion. Or you may want to speed up the whole investigation process by going privately. If you have private medical insurance or are willing to pay for yourself, we can help and you may not need a GP referral to see us. You may be referred to one of our respected surgeons via your own GP. We can also make sure you see one of our specialist breast consultants within a few days of your referral to us.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
We're here to listen and help you every step of the way. You will have a formal consultation with the consultant of your choice. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and any concerns you might have.
Your consultant will discuss with you if they feel any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having any kind of medical investigations can be a time of worry and anxiety. Our experienced and caring clinical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.
Examination - The surgeon will examine your breasts and armpits, pressing gently on the skin to feel for changes in texture.
Imaging - This may be needed to investigate inside your breast to see where the lump is. There are a number of types of imaging that could be used, for example, ultrasound or mammography.
Biopsy - If a breast abnormality is found during the investigation a biopsy may be carried out to determine whether further treatment is required.
A biopsy is often not needed but it will usually be done under local anaesthesia using a needle.
If a biopsy is taken it will take a few days for the results to come through, so your consultant will arrange a follow-up appointment with you to discuss these.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
Unless you have had a biopsy, you will usually get your test results straight away and your consultants will explain what the results mean. If anything out of the ordinary is found, we offer integrated medical care and can create a treatment plan to help put you back on the road to good health.
In most cases you will be able to return home the same day and continue with your usual activities as normal. If you have had a general anaesthetic for a biopsy you will need to spend the night in hospital.
You may feel sore if you had a biopsy, so we will give you pain relief medication while you’re with us and to take home with you.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
If you needed minor surgery to remove a lump for biopsy, you will need to take a few days off work and take it easy for a week or two.
We’re with you every step of the way, even after you’ve left hospital.
After your procedure we will provide you with all the appropriate medication, advice on what you should and shouldn't do, and any other follow-up support you need.
On rare occasions, complications following surgery can occur. If you have any pain in your breast or they feel hot and swollen – don’t hesitate to call us. You could have an infection.
We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your tests you can call us.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
We have excellent road links to the M1 and A1(M), and are five minutes from Harpenden train station.
Main Switchboard: 01582 763 191
Self-pay treatment enquiries: 01582 714420
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Harpenden Hospital.