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All women can be affected by breast disease but the important thing is to remember that not all breast abnormalities are due to cancer. However, if you have found something different during your own breast examinations we urge you to seek medical advice from your GP as quickly as possible.

Early diagnosis of breast problems helps to ensure that if cancer is detected the chances of successful treatment are far improved. For patients who are diagnosed, results are available quickly and should an operation be required, it would usually take place within a week. Our Consultant Surgeons at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital are highly experienced in breast reconstructive surgery.

Why should I have my treatment at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital?

At Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital we have two Consultant-led breast clinics per week. As early diagnosis is paramount, patients with breast problems will be offered a rapid access appointment to our One Stop Breast Clinics, usually within a week and sometimes within a few days. There is no requirement to be referred by your GP, although we do recommend seeing your GP if you have discovered new symptoms. If you have already seen your GP, or intend to do so prior to attending the One Stop Breast Clinic, you may ask them to e-mail a referral to the hospital.

You will be seen initially by a Consultant Breast Surgeon who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. The Consultant Breast Surgeons are supported by a Consultant Breast Radiologist and a team of specialist Mammographers who will perform any diagnostic tests that are required immediately after your consultation. You will get the results of these initial tests after their completion, before you leave the hospital. If any further diagnostic tests are required*, these can also be performed on the day and the results will be sent to our pathology team for evaluation.

What happens at the initial consultation?

The Consultant Breast Surgeon will review your medical history and examine you. In addition to a clinical examination, further tests may be carried out in the imaging department during the same visit to obtain accurate diagnosis. These tests may take up to an hour and a half and can include one or more of the following.

Initial Diagnostic Tests

Mammogram

This x-ray technique is carried out by specialist Mammographers during which x-rays are taken to show detailed structure of the breast tissue. A mammogram may show abnormalities which may include early cancers of the breast which are not detected by clinical examination.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound of the breast is carried out by a Consultant Breast Radiologist and is a painless examination of the breast using high frequency sound waves instead of x-rays (similar to the examination done during pregnancy).

Once the mammogram and ultrasound are completed, the Consultant Breast Radiologist will review the results and discuss them with you. This will either provide reassurance, or suggest the need for further tests, which can be completed either on the day* or through the NHS with a referral to your GP.

Additional Diagnostic Tests*

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

The initial diagnostic tests may identify a cyst within the breast tissue. The fluid within the cyst can be withdrawn using a needle, which will be guided into position using ultrasound. Once this fluid is withdrawn by the Consultant Breast Radiologist, usually no other tests are required.

Needle Biopsy

The Consultant Breast Radiologist may also carry out a needle biopsy which involves passing a needle into the breast to withdraw some cells for the Consultant in our pathology laboratory to examine. The result is almost always available within a working week and you will be asked to come back to see your Consultant Breast Surgeon to discuss this the following week.

Core Biopsy

A core biopsy is normally undertaken by the Consultant Breast Radiologist in the Imaging department under ultrasound or x-ray guidance. Local anaesthetic is given and a small incision is made in the breast so that a small amount of tissue can be removed by a special biopsy needle. The results of this test will take approximately five working days and you will be asked to come back to discuss the results with your Consultant Breast Surgeon the following week.

Our breast clinic consultants

Mr Adam Critchley

MBBs, MRCS Ed, FRCS Ed (Gen Surg)

Specialty General Surgery

Mr Robert Milligan

MBBS, MRCS, FRCS

Specialty General Surgery

Dr Alan Redman

MB BS, BSc, DRCOG, FRCR

Specialty Clinical Radiology

For more details or to book an appointment please contact 0808 1494105 or fill in the enquiry form below and we'll call you back.

*Additional Diagnostic tests are not included in the One Stop Breast Clinic prices and will be charged additionally