Home News & Events News BLOG: One-stop breast clinics: what are they – and why would a patient attend?

What is a one-stop breast clinic?

A one-stop breast clinic is an outpatient clinic that provides same-day skilled rapid assessment of breast problems. Patients are first assessed by a consultant breast surgeon who may then organise appropriate further tests. Depending on a patient’s age and the problems they are experiencing, they may require an ultrasound scan or mammogram, or both.  

A consultant radiologist will be able to analyse these scans and may advise a biopsy. This is a needle test performed under local anaesthetic which takes a small sample of the lump or tissue to provide more information. The results of the biopsy can take about a week to come back, and so arrangements are made for patients to be contacted with the results either over the telephone or in person. The majority of patients don’t require a biopsy and are simply discharged that day.

Why would a patient attend a one-stop breast clinic?

A patient would attend a one-stop breast clinic if they have a symptom or change in their breasts they are concerned about. Most patients will be reassured the same day that the problems they have are benign (harmless). The majority of harmless breast problems require no treatment or follow up. A minority of patients may be diagnosed with a type of breast cancer through the one-stop clinic and the team of specialists will be able to explain and guide patients through their diagnosis and treatment options. 

What are the symptoms or early signs to look out for?

Patients should seek medical advice with any change to their breast that they are worried about. Breast pain is a very common symptom and not usually a sign of cancer. Below is a list of symptoms or signs that require investigation:

  • A new lump that was not there before (in the breast or armpit)
  • Thickening of breast tissue that is new
  • Retraction or inversion of the nipple
  • Discharge from either nipple, particularly blood-stained
  • A rash on or around the nipple
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast
  • Change in breast shape, size and/or skin
  • Persistent pain in the breast or armpit

How often are breast clinics run at the Rutherford?

We currently run breast clinics once a week on a Saturday morning but are planning on a midweek clinic in the near future. If you have any questions about the Rutherford Breast Clinic North East, please contact the team at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East.

Find out more about the Rutherford Breast Clinic North East: 

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