I have found a breast lump, what should I do?
Most (90%) breast lumps are not cancerous, but if you notice a lump, or any other changes to your breasts then you should report it to your GP, who may then decide to refer you to the Breast Unit for a one stop clinic appointment
How long will my appointment take?
Your appointment can take three hours or more, so please bring something to read and maybe somebody to keep you company.
Where can I park?
There is parking available at the screening centre itself. There are other car parks available in the main Luton and Dunstable Hospital, with a short walk then to the Breast Screening Centre on Lewsey Road. If you park at the Screening Centre, pay for three hours and leave your car registration at reception, then the car park attendants have agreed not to put a ticket on your car even if you are there for longer; this agreement is only for cars parked at the Screening Centre car park.
What will happen at my appointment?
If you are coming to a one stop clinic you will be seen by a Breast Specialist to discuss your problem and have a breast examination and any tests that are required.
Will I get all the results on the same day?
You will be given the results of your breast examination and any ultrasound or mammogram tests on the day that we see you. If you have any tissue samples taken (needle test or core biopsy) these will take a few days to come back. The specialist who sees you will explain how you will get these results.
Can I see a female doctor?
We usually have both male and female Breast Specialists in clinic, so if you particularly wish to be seen by someone of a particular gender please tell us and we will try to accommodate this. Please note we do not usually have a female doctor available on a Thursday morning and in any of the clinics you may have your ultrasound scan done by a male doctor. Whenever you are seen for examination or tests a chaperone will be available and you are welcome to have a friend or family member accompany you.
Might I have breast cancer?
Most of the people who come to see us do not have breast cancer and can be reassured after their visit. If we do have concerns that you may have cancer we will explain this to you. Even if you do turn out to have a breast cancer, we have a range of different treatments which are very effective and most people will be cured.
If I have breast cancer will I need to lose my breast?
Whenever possible we will try to just remove the area of cancer in the breast (breast conserving surgery). Sometimes this isn’t possible and the whole breast will need to be removed (mastectomy), in which case we will discuss the possibility of breast reconstruction with you.
What if I’ve been seen recently but I am still concerned?
We run the one stop clinics with examination and investigations on the same day as this is the best way of being certain we have picked up any breast abnormality. However, there is always a slight chance of something being missed on our tests; if you still have concerns please see your GP again and we will be happy to reassess you.
I am waiting to be seen in the Family History Clinic but have noticed some changes to my breasts, what shall I do?
If you have any breast symptoms please see your GP to be referred to a one stop clinic as the Family History Clinic does not involve breast examination or investigation.
Will I be followed up after my appointment?
Most people that we see can be reassured after their appointment that there is nothing to worry about and no further appointments are needed. If we need to do a biopsy we will arrange with you how you are going to get the results. If you have a troublesome problem such as nipple discharge or breast pain we may arrange to see you again to see how you are getting on.
I’ve had breast cancer treatment and am not happy with how my breasts look; can anything be done about it?
We have a range of options to help and are happy to see you to discuss symmetrisation surgery. If you are within five years of treatment you can contact your Breast Care Nurse to arrange review; if it has been longer please get your GP to drop us a line. It doesn’t matter if your original surgery was done elsewhere, we would still be happy to see you.
I had a mastectomy in the past, but would like a reconstruction; is that possible?
We would be happy to see you to discuss your options for delayed reconstruction. If you are still under review with us please ask your Breast Care Nurse for more information, otherwise please get your GP to write to us. It doesn’t matter how long ago your original surgery was, or if it was done elsewhere, we would still be happy to see you.