What to expect at your breast clinic visit

Once the referral from your GP is received, we will see you as quickly as possible for assessment (usually within two weeks for urgent referrals). The breast clinic is held in the outpatient suite on E level of Princess Anne Hospital.

Please leave enough time for parking, as the car parks can be very busy. Please also leave enough time for your appointment, which may take a few hours. Although we try our best to keep to time, busy clinics can sometimes lead to delays. There are cafe and toilet facilities available next to the waiting room.

We may arrange for you to have a mammogram or an ultrasound scan prior to the clinic appointment. This may be on the same day as the breast clinic visit or an an earlier date. These are performed in the adjacent breast imaging unit. Sometimes a needle biopsy test is performed at the same time to get more information.

A member of our breast surgery team will see you at the clinic. They will talk to you about your symptoms and perform an examination. A chaperone will be available. You may receive a diagnosis and management plan then. However, sometimes further information is required and a second appointment may be arranged for you to come back for additional test results (for example, a needle biopsy result).

We are actively involved in breast cancer research and clinical trials. We may be able to discuss these with you if you would be interested in knowing more or taking part. We are also a teaching hospital and there may be medical or nursing students in attendance at the clinic. If you do not want a student to be present during your consultation, please let a member of staff know.

We understand that a visit to the breast clinic can be a very worrying time for you, but it’s important to remember that the majority (more than 90%) of patients we see are given a benign (non-cancerous) diagnosis. However, if you are diagnosed with a breast cancer, or a suspicious finding, there is a team of specialists there to support you (see what happens if a breast cancer is diagnosed?).