Be Breast Aware

Blog Health News 2nd October 2023 Enquiries & appointments

What are the signs and symptoms to look out for and how to check for them?

It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October and at KIMS Hospital, we want to spread the importance of knowing your breasts, checking for symptoms and having symptoms properly examined by a healthcare specialist as soon as possible.

Did you know?

In the UK, around 55,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed with Breast Cancer every year which is 1 diagnosed case every 10 minutes.

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and that is why it is so important to notice the early signs of symptoms and get yourself checked by a healthcare professional.

What are the symptoms to look out for?

At our One Stop Breast Clinic you do not require a GP referral to be seen by our specialist team. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call us to book an appointment. Where possible, you will be seen on the same day.

  • Painless lumps in the breast
  • Changes in the size or shape of a breast
  • Dimpling to the skin of the breast
  • Thickened breast tissue
  • Nipple inversion
  • Lump or thickening behind the nipple
  • Rash affecting the nipple or skin across the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Swelling or a lump in the armpit

Breast symptoms to look for

We understand having any of these symptoms can be concerning, and you want to be seen by an expert and have test results back quickly. At our One Stop Breast Clinic, our team of specialists will be able to walk you through the process, answer any questions and make your experience as stress-free as possible.

Although having these symptoms may be a sign of breast cancer, it does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Getting checked as soon as possible will give you the peace of mind you need.

How to check for symptoms?

The first stage of checking for symptoms can be simply done by yourself at home. You need to know what is normal for you and what to look out for. The best way to do this is to look at your breasts and feel them – make sure you are examining all areas and looking out for any of the listed symptoms of breast cancer, especially a breast lump or any pain.

If you are concerned, it is always best to get seen. Early diagnosis can make a big difference to treatment.

Please note: If you are aged 50+ you will be offered regular breast screening appointments by the NHS to reduce the risk of breast cancer and detect abnormalities early.

At KIMS Hospital’s One Stop Breast Clinic, based on your clinical assessment by your Consultant, you may need the following procedures:

  • Mammography – The mammogram only takes a few minutes and will be operated by a female Mammographer. A mammogram scanner will detect small amounts of cancer that can’t be felt.
  • Breast ultrasound – This scanner sends soundwaves through the breast tissue to detect any signs of breast cancer or other breast-related conditions.
  • Core biopsy – This is a hollow needle that will take a small amount of breast tissue to be examined for cancer cells.
  • Cyst Aspiration – If a fluid filled cyst is shown on ultrasound then it may be possible to drain this – The radiologist places a small needle into the cyst utilising ultrasound, and drains the cyst.

What to expect at your Breast Clinic Appointment

  1. First meeting with your Consultant Breast Surgeon – One of our dedicated clinic Nurses will support you during your initial meeting with your Consultant Breast Surgeon who will discuss your symptoms and examine you.
  2. Same day diagnostic scans – Your Consultant may request that you have diagnostic tests during your appointment. This is usually either a mammogram and/or ultrasound. Please be aware that you may be in the clinic for approximately 2-3 hours. In some instances, further examination is required, and your Consultant may request a core biopsy. These are usually returned within 10-14 days.
  3. Follow-up with Consultant – Your Consultant will then take time to talk you through the results of your mammogram and/or ultrasound during your appointment. If you have had a biopsy during your appointment, you will be booked in for another appointment in around two weeks to get the results. One of our Nurses will be able to offer you any support and guidance you might want throughout all your appointments.
  4. If further treatment is needed – If your Consultant Breast Surgeon recommends further treatment, they will discuss all the available options with you. Our Breast Care Nurse Specialists will also be able to support you and help with any questions you might have.

If you have any concerns or questions from the above information, please do not hesitate to give our friendly team a call on 01622 237727 or make an enquiry and our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Media & Press Enquiries

Madeleine Greenhalgh Senior Marketing & Communications Manager 01622 237663