Cambridgeshire's leading independent hospital, Fitzwilliam Hospital, provides high-quality breast care for women. We offer a breast screening service and a one-stop symptomatic breast cancer clinic for private patients. This means that women can come to us whether they have symptoms of breast cancer or not for peace of mind and rapid, easy access to diagnostic tests and treatments as required.
Optimistic breast cancer statistics
Around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. Eight out of ten cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over1.
NHS England has published improved first-year survival rates for breast cancer that are now about 97%2. Around 85 out of every 100 women (85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis3.
Finding cancer early, when it is in the initial stages, means that its treatment is likely to be more successful. Greater awareness and improved education around cancer including breast cancer are thought to help detect cancer early. Patients know to arrange an appointment to see their GP or breast care specialist for a full assessment if they have any concerns. At Fitzwilliam, we are seeing more younger patients than ever before, often aged in their twenties.
Our Breast Cancer Clinic Services
Fitzwilliam offers two breast cancer care services for women. Our objective is to detect breast cancer in its early stage to increase survival chances of breast cancer.
Breast cancer screening
Breast cancer screening checks a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. It can find breast cancer when the cancer is too small to feel in a physical examination.
Screening for breast cancer can involve different tests. A mammogram is most commonly used and is typically the first stage of breast screening. A mammogram takes a picture of each breast using an X-ray scan. Typically, a female mammographer will take two breast X-rays for each breast which takes around 30 minutes.
Younger women with denser breast tissue may have a breast MRI that uses magnetic waves to create a clearer image. Women who have a high risk of breast cancer may also have a breast MRI as part of their screening.
If your doctor wants to look at a specific area of your breast, they may request a targeted ultrasound that uses high-frequency sound waves.
Women aged 50 and above are invited by the NHS for a mammogram breast screen every three years until they are 71. At Fitzwilliam, we see women who are worried about breast cancer and want a breast screen before turning 50, have a family history of breast cancer, or want the reassurance of a more regular screening such as annually.
Rapid breast cancer diagnosis
Developed to help ease the anxiety of breast symptoms, our dedicated and specialist symptomatic breast cancer clinic cares for women who are worried about breast problems. An appointment involves a breast examination, a mammogram and other tests as required.
Common breast cancer symptoms include:
- A new lump in your breast or armpit
- Thickening or swelling in your breast or armpit.
- A change in the size or shape of your breast
- A change in your skin such as puckering, dimpling, colour, a rash or crusting
- Unusual discharge from either nipple
- Changes to your nipple position.
If you notice anything unusual about your breasts or you are worried about any changes in them, it’s important that you arrange an appointment with your GP or directly with a consultant breast surgeon as soon as possible.
You should be aware and take some reassurance that most often the result is normal and you leave the clinic with complete peace of mind. The symptoms may be due to normal breast changes or a benign (non-cancer) condition. If breast cancer is detected early, treatment is likely to be more successful. So, it’s important to get any symptoms checked out as soon as possible.
If breast cancer treatment is required, we will discuss the most suitable treatment options for you based on the stage and grade of the cancer (size and spread), your general health, and whether you have gone through menopause. The main treatments for breast cancer are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.
Women who have a mastectomy, that removes all the breast tissue, may want reconstructive breast surgery which can be performed at the same time or later.
Why do our patients choose us for their breast care?
Patients choose Fitzwilliam’s breast screening and one-stop diagnostic breast clinic often for a number of reasons. These include:
- Patients can self-refer so they have faster access to tests, scans and checks than waiting for a referral.
- All tests can be done in one visit with quick results usually within a week.
- Patients receive personal care delivered by a consultant breast surgeon, consultant radiologist and a dedicated breast care nurse.
Meet one of our surgeon’s Mr Goh, pioneering breast surgeon at Fitzwilliam
Mr Steven Goh, an oncoplastic breast surgeon, specialises in breast cancer treatment. He offers both breast screening and diagnostic tests and treatment for patients who have breast cancer symptoms. Mr Goh and his breast surgeon colleagues provide a holistic breast cancer service for patients at The Fitzwilliam Hospital.
Over recent years, Mr Goh introduced the latest biologic breast reconstruction surgery procedures to the East of England. These include using a natural Strattice mesh to support breast implants in reconstruction and pedicled perforator flap partial breast reconstruction that uses tissue from other parts of your body to rebuild breast shape after a mastectomy. Mr Goh performs both of these procedures at Fitzwilliam Hospital.
Mr Goh says, “I became a breast surgeon for a number of reasons. Breast cancer is very common in the UK and it generally offers very good prognoses and outcomes. I get great satisfaction from helping my patients and knowing their appreciation for providing the latest and most appropriate care during this difficult and emotive time. As well as breast treatments and reconstructive surgery being very effective in cancer treatment, patients benefit from a quick recovery and low complication rates.”
Patients can see Mr Goh or one of our team of consultants through self-referral or a GP referral
To book an appointment call 01733 842309.