Attending Your Appointment

At your clinic appointment a member of the Breast Care Team will take a medical and family history. You will then be examined. If any further tests may be required, they will be discussed with you. Most tests can be undertaken during the appointment.

If further tests are required it is possible we will give you the results on the same day. Please try to leave a full half-day open for your initial visit so that you can take advantage of this service if it is available. However, not all tests can be analysed the same day.  If this is the case you will be asked to return to clinic for a follow-up appointment.

During your visit to the unit you will meet many different staff members, some of which are listed below:

  • Clinic nurses understand the level of anxiety caused by coming to the clinic. They try to keep you informed at all times.
  • The doctors in clinic have a specialist interest in the management of breast problems.
  • Breast care nurses are experienced qualified nurses who have undertaken specialist training in the care of patients with breast problems. A specialist breast care nurse is usually present at the clinic during your consultation with the doctor.

The nurse will have the time to explain in more detail the information given to you by the consultant and to explain in more depth any treatment offered to you. You will have the opportunity to talk over any concerns or queries you may have.

Follow up appointments

Many patients do not require follow up appointments.  However, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer you will be offered treatment.  During your cancer journey you will have access to your breast care nurse but also our breast cancer navigator who will help you with any queries.  You will be given contact details at your clinic appointment. Our follow up care has changed and the majority of patients are able to go onto stratified follow up which means that you only need to come for mammograms every year but do not need to come to clinic as well.  Your results will be posted to you.  If you would prefer to be seen in clinic we can arrange this for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is extremely important to tell the clinic if you are pregnant, if you have breast implants or if you have had a mammogram (X-ray of the breasts) during the last 12 months. Additionally, if you are taking tablets to thin the blood (anticoagulants) you should let someone at the clinic know.

Please also let the clinic know before your visit if there are arrangements we can make for you, for example, providing wheelchair access, interpreters or signers.

Many women can be fully assessed by their GP and you do not always need to be assessed in a specialist breast clinic. However, your GP may refer you to the breast clinic at the hospital to be seen.
Waiting for an appointment is always a worrying time. You should be offered an appointment with a specialist within two weeks of your GP referring you.
Please bring a partner, relative or friend with you to your appointment if you feel you will need their support or company whilst you are at the clinic. They can stay with you for most of the visit, including some of the tests and for your consultation, if this is what you want. You may find this helpful as you might be given a lot of information to digest and they may help you to remember everything.
Please do let the hospital know if you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, there will be a contact number on your appointment letter. This is very important because we can offer this appointment to another person.
A breast care nurse or key worker is a specialist nurse who is trained to provide patients, their families and carers with information, physical and psychological care and support and give practical advice from diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and beyond.

The breast care nurse has specialist knowledge in all aspects of breast cancer.  They have completed specialist studies in breast care and oncology nursing including advanced communication skills.  They work only in breast care.

Everyone affected by breast cancer should be able to access support from a breast care nurse.   They will be present at all key consultations in a patient’s cancer journey and is the person who streamlines and co-ordinates care, accessing specialities.

If you would like a copy of the GP letter after your initial consultation, your breast care nurse will coordinate this for you.

If required your breast care nurse can facilitate referrals to additional support services such as psychological medicine, physiotherapy, genetics etc.