How is breast cancer diagnosed?

If you are experiencing symptoms of breast cancer or an irregularity has been identified through routine screening, our One Stop Breast Clinics can provide all your initial diagnostic tests in one appointment. Your GP can refer you to our one stop breast clinics or in some cases you can make a self-referral.

At the clinic you'll be guided by our expert consultants and specialist breast care nurses, through a consultation about your symptoms, a physical examination, a mammogram to get X-ray images of your breasts, and an ultrasound if we need to take a closer look. The results of these tests will be available during your appointment, giving you peace of mind on the same day.

If these tests show any irregularities you may need to have a biopsy. If this is necessary, then your consultant will discuss this with you during your appointment. A biopsy can be performed at the same appointment and results will be available within days, so you'll get the answers you need without delay. Our specialist breast care nurses will be available to provide ongoing support whilst you are waiting for the results.

To learn more about what happens during a visit to one of our one stop breast clinics, watch our short video below

What happens next?

If your biopsy confirms a cancer diagnosis, further tests and scans may be required to confirm the size and stage of the cancer. Your consultant will discuss these tests with you, your medical team can answer any questions you may have, and they can make arrangements for these tests to take place. A Clinical Nurse Specialist will be available to support you throughout your treatment with us.

Expert breast cancer multidisciplinary teams

For some people surgery is the only treatment required, but for others it may be part of a wider treatment plan including chemotherapy or other anti-cancer drugs, radiotherapy or a clinical trial.

At HCA Healthcare UK, our multidisciplinary team (MDT) of breast cancer experts come together to discuss your individual diagnosis. They’ll consider all the different treatments options and make a recommendation on the best treatment plan for you. Your consultant will discuss this treatment plan with you and along with your Clinical Nurse Specialist they can answer any questions you may have before your treatment begins.

What to expect after a breast cancer diagnosis

Miss Joanna Franks, Chair of the Breast Board at HCA Healthcare UK and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at The Wellington Hospital shares her thoughts on what patients should expect after receiving a diagnosis, and how the care you receive should be personalised. 

Peter's breast cancer experience

"Getting an early diagnosis is absolutely key for increasing your chances of survival, so I recommend to all my male friends that whilst they are checking for testicular cancer, it only takes another few seconds to check your breasts.”

Following a GP appointment and referral to a consultant for tests, Peter was told he had early stage breast cancer – a thought which had not crossed his mind being a man. Peter shares his experience of being diagnosed with male breast cancer, and encourages all men to check their breasts regularly.

 
GP with patient

Getting a second opinion

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, whether or not you have started treatment, a second opinion can give you reassurance and peace of mind.  

Our second opinion service is led by expert consultants.  They will provide a comprehensive review of your current and past medical history, to identify the best treatment options for you. This review may identify new treatment options or simply confirm you are already receiving the best treatment.  Either way it can help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.
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