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Breast cancer

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer you will have immediate access to our world-leading consultants and state-of-the-art hospitals

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow in an uncontrolled way and build up to form a lump (also known as a tumour). As the cancer grows, cells can spread to other parts of the body, this is known as secondary or metastatic breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, usually affecting women, however although rare, breast cancer can also occur in men. Survival has been improving over time and early diagnosis can significantly improve treatment outcomes, so it is important to check your breast regularly. Your risk of getting breast cancer increases as you get older. Most breast cancers are found in women aged over 50 years old, but can occur in younger women. Most women with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the condition, although in some cases a genetic link can be found. 


HCA Healthcare UK is committed to giving you the most advanced, personalised cancer treatment and care, whilst working with a team of healthcare professionals, each with their own area of expertise. Our cancer care network is spread across the UK. This includes our own private hospitals, private units within leading NHS hospitals and dedicated chemotherapy and radiotherapy centres.

Our breast care services offer rapid access to tests, advice, diagnosis and treatment across a network of facilities. When it comes to treatment, we operate Sarah Cannon Research Institute UK, this gives you access to more treatment options including new and emerging drugs. We’re the only private provider to cover the entire patient pathway seamlessly, from diagnosis and treatment, through to clinical trials, survivorship and aftercare.

Types of breast cancer

Invasive breast cancer

Invasive breast cancer occurs when the cancer cells have spread outside the lining of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue

Invasive lobular breast cancer

This type of breast cancer grows in the cells that line the lobules; the glands that make milk when breastfeeding, before spreading into the breast tissue

Triple negative breast cancer

This type of breast cancer doesn’t have receptors for the hormones oestrogen and progesterone or the protein HER2

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of breast cancer that grows along the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast

Angiosarcoma of the breast

This is a type of cancer that develops from soft tissue, and is very rare

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

With this cancer type, cells in the lining of the breast tissue ducts start to turn into cancer cells

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) causes changes to the cells lining the lobes that make milk in the breast

Male breast cancer

Male breast cancer develops in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of breast cancer? icon plus

    Regularly checking your breasts can help you familarise yourself with their shape and feel and recognise when changes take place.

    Common breast cancer symptoms can include:

    • change in size and shape of one or both breasts
    • a lump or pain in the breast or under the arm
    • discharge from the nipple
    • change in the look or feel of the skin on the breast
  • Breast screening and diagnosis icon plus

    Early diagnosis of breast cancer can increase the chances of successful treatment, and not all breast cancers have symptoms. If you are over 40, or have a family history of breast cancer, or notice one or more of the above symptoms, we can provide you with an initial screen and if necessary further diagnostic tests such as:

    If breast cancer is diagnosed, we will provide personalised cancer care and rapid access to the latest technology and treatments. For patients wanting to explore a second opinion we offer access to leading consultants in all cancer specialties.

  • Breast cancer treatment icon plus

    We work together to create the right treatment for you. We discuss options such as:
  • Supportive care icon plus

    Your physical and emotional wellbeing is important to us. We provide a range of supportive therapies designed to help prevent, alleviate or manage the effects of breast cancer and the treatments we provide.

    These include:

    • complementary therapies such as massage and reiki
    • dietetic support
    • symptom control
    • physiotherapy
    • psychological support for you and your family
  • Living with and beyond cancer icon plus

    We know that after cancer treatment, you may need help getting back to normal life, so we offer expert advice and support. We run dedicated programmes focused on physical, psychological and practical concerns that may arise from a diagnosis of cancer and associated treatment.

Our breast cancer specialists

Under our care, you'll be looked after by a consultant who specialises in breast cancer, someone who is dedicated to your health and wellbeing.

Each consultant is supported by a team of breast health professionals, including radiologists, radiographers and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs). 
Cancer care consultants

The one-stop breast clinic - Jennifer's story

Find out more about Jennifer's experience at our one-stop breast clinic.

Our breast care location

From complex breast cancer surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional breast care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 3553 9477
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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