Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. According to the charity Cancer Research UK, about 55,500 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
At Parkside Private Hospital, we have set up a One Stop Breast Clinic. Mr Dibyesh Banerjee (Oncoplastic Breast surgeon) explains how this clinic can reduce anxiety and waiting times if you are concerned about any breast symptoms.
What is the One Stop Breast Clinic?
The One Stop Breast Clinic is an outpatient clinic to investigate any breast symptoms in one convenient hospital visit.
It is vital to check your breasts regularly and report any changes to a doctor without delay. Most breast symptoms such as a lump are not caused by cancer, but it is always best for a doctor to examine you. Treatment for breast cancer is more likely to be successful if the condition is found early.
You should consider booking an appointment at the One Stop Breast Clinic if you notice any of these symptoms:
• A lump, thickening or swelling in your breast or armpit
• A change in the size, shape or feel of one or both breasts
• A change in the position of the nipple, such as turning inwards
• Fluid (which may be bloodstained) leaking from either nipple
• Constant pain in your breast, nipple or armpit
• Skin changes in your breast, such as dimpling like the skin of an orange, a rash or redness
What happens during an appointment at the One Stop Breast Clinic?
When you visit the One Stop Breast Clinic, our expert team carry out a triple (three-stage) assessment:
• Initial assessment: A specialist breast consultant such as myself asks about your symptoms and medical history, including any other conditions or family history of breast cancer. The consultant then examines both of your breasts, including the armpits.
• Imaging tests: You may have a breast ultrasound scan and, if needed, a digital mammogram (X-ray pictures of the breasts). If you are a woman aged 40 or over, we offer you a digital mammogram regardless of your symptoms. We perform the scans in our Radiology Department with high precision imaging equipment.
• Further assessment: If we find any abnormal area in your breast, we take a small sample of breast cells or tissue for testing. There are two possible quick and painless ways of doing this:
—A fine needle aspiration is when we use a thin needle to remove a sample of breast cells into a syringe.
—A core biopsy is when we use a needle to take small pieces of tissue from the breast lump or abnormal area. You have a local anaesthetic to make the area numb and do not feel any pain.
When will I find out my test results?
The One Stop Breast Clinic minimises the anxiety of waiting for test results. We perform all the tests that you need in a single visit. Most people leave our clinic with reassurance that their symptoms are non-cancerous (benign). If your test results show any cause for concern, we usually confirm this within two to five working days.
If my test results are abnormal, what treatment and support can you offer me?
Your consultant explains the diagnosis clearly at an appointment and answers your questions. A specialist breast care nurse also attends this appointment and supports you throughout your treatment.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, your consultant prepares an individual treatment plan. Expert surgeons can perform breast cancer surgery and breast reconstruction at Parkside. Our neighbouring site, Cancer Centre London, offers other breast cancer treatments and a wide range of support services. We aim to achieve the highest standards of personalised care.
Why would you recommend booking an appointment at the One Stop Breast Clinic?
If you are worried about breast symptoms, our dedicated team fully investigate your concerns at the One Stop Breast Clinic. This clinic is open six days a week and there is little or no waiting time for an appointment.
Rather than making repeated hospital visits, you have an examination and any scans or other tests that you need on the same day. We can then diagnose your breast symptoms quickly and accurately, and arrange prompt treatment if required.
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They recognise Parkside’s One Stop Breast Clinic as ‘an area of outstanding practice’.
To make an appointment at the One Stop Breast Clinic, please call 020 8971 8026 or email: email@example.com
You can read more about Mr Dibyesh Banerjee and his expertise here. Mr Banerjee’s Instagram address is: www.instagram.com/dibs.banerjee