The Breast Clinics take place every Wednesday.
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a specialist Breast Care Team. This team sees newly diagnosed and follow up cases of breast cancer as well as people who have benign breast conditions. You may not necessarily see the consultant, but you will see a doctor who specialises in breast disease.
If there is a diagnosis of breast cancer, a referral may be made to a consultant in Oncology (cancer) who has a special interest in breast cancer and who visits Yeovil Hospital every Wednesday.
If you have been referred to the Breast Clinic with a breast lump, you will probably find it very comforting to bring someone with you when you attend.
The general procedure will be as follows
In the clinic you will be seen by one of the doctors or breast care nurses who will ask you a few routine questions about your breast symptoms. The doctor will then examine you. This will involve examining both breasts and the area under the arms.
The doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests
This is a simple procedure which may cause you some discomfort but is over very quickly. Fluid is withdrawn from the breast so it may be checked for any abnormalities. Do not worry if any bruising or lumpiness appears following this test as this is perfectly normal. Sometimes a small sample of tissue (biopsy) is taken using a local anaesthetic (you will be offered the opportunity to have your samples stored and used for research purposes).
You may be sent to the X-ray Department for an X-ray which involves taking two views of each breast. Each breast is individually compressed between two plates. This procedure can be uncomfortable for some patients but it is over quite quickly. It does not detect every case of breast cancer and is not usually performed on people under the age of 35 years or on men of any age. Do not be alarmed if you are re-called to the X-ray Department for additional mammogram views, ultrasound scans or biopsies. This does not necessarily mean that you have cancer.
This is a painless procedure which also takes place in the X-ray Department. It involves passing a special instrument somewhat like a microphone over the breast. The technique uses high frequency sound waves which are beamed through the breast and turned into images. You will not necessarily have all the tests done in one visit. You may be asked to attend the x-ray department at a later date and return to the clinic soon after to be given the results. You will be advised at the time on how to do this.
90 per cent of people do not have a serious abnormality such as cancer and for those people, one of the following will happen
- You will be told the results of the tests, be reassured and given no further appointment.
- You will need to have your breasts checked regularly – this may be due to a variety of reasons which the doctor will discuss with you.
- Further tests may be necessary, e.g. the biopsy may need to be repeated, further X-rays done or it may be necessary to remove the lump. This is called an excision biopsy and generally involves coming into hospital for one day and then returning to the clinic a week later for the result.
The following are the main conditions with which patients attend this clinic. They are presented in order of frequency – i.e.. most people attend with fibroadenosis.
This is a benign condition of the breast. It is usually diagnosed by taking a biopsy. Although the cause is unknown, it is very common and does not lead to cancer. No treatment is usually required.
This is a fluid filled lump. These are drained in the clinic using a small needle and generally, no other treatment is needed.It does not lead to cancer.
This is a small benign tumour or growth in the breast which is often removed. It does not lead to cancer.
This simply means pain in the breast or breasts. It can occur in an otherwise normal breast or can be associated with one of the above. If severe, hormonal or other treatment is sometimes prescribed, but not routinely.
This is often associated with one of the above.
Excess breast tissue in men of any age which is not cancer.
If you are told you have breast cancer, you will be fully informed by the Breast Care Team, including the Breast Care
Nurse, about the treatment and therapy options available to you. Nothing will be done without your full consent and knowledge.
Please ask questions about anything you do not understand. We are all here to help you. Telephone the Breast Care Nurses if you have any worries. They will be pleased to give you any advice and answer any of your questions.
You can call them on:
01935 384 352
The phone number has an answer phone facility – please leave your name and number if there is no one to take your call and someone will contact you as soon as possible.