Coronavirus: breast cancer update
Due to increased demand on the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are having to make significant changes to our services which may require cancellation of appointments.
We are contacting a number of patients with a future outpatient appointment.
In some cases we are changing appointments to a telephone consultation, and in certain circumstances, a virtual appointment. Some appointments may be cancelled without a future date being arranged at this stage. If we cancel your appointment you will remain on our waiting list and we will contact you in due course. All patient appointments will be reviewed by the medical team before they are cancelled or changed to a telephone consultation.
The team are keen to reduce the number of patients who need to attend the hospital so are checking all new referrals to make the most appropriate plan for each patient.
If you have been seen by your GP and referred to the breast service for a new appointment and have a query, please call 020 7188 0902.
If you are expecting a follow up appointment as an existing patient, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to use email or your query is urgent, please call one of the following numbers 020 7188 0881, 020 7188 9587 or 020 7188 7587. Our phone lines are very busy and there may be a wait for your call to be answered.
If you are waiting for a date for surgery, please contact our admissions team on BreastSurgeryAdmission@gstt.nhs.uk or call 020 7188 2872.
If you are an existing patient and you need advice from the clinical team, please contact the breast care nurses on 020 7188 0869.
See our frequently asked questions for further information. If your query is not covered, please call us.
Information for GPs
We are doing everything we can to support GPs and your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need advice from our clinical team, please use the current advice and guidance channels including e-RS advice and guidance.
We are vetting all breast two week wait (2WW) referrals made by GPs on e-RS.
We will see referrals where there is a higher index of suspicion of cancer and write to/phone referrals with a lower index of suspicion of cancer.
Please consider this before making any referral as our capacity to see new patients is very limited.
Our frequently asked questions page has answers to common questions we have received from patients.
About breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. It mostly occurs in older women and is uncommon under the age of 40. It is rare in men.
More than 70% of women with breast cancer survive after treatment. The amount of treatment needed depends on the type of cancer and whether it has spread beyond the breast. Effective treatment and the chances of cure are greatly improved with earlier diagnosis.
We offer rapid advice, diagnosis and treatment to patients with symptomatic breast problems, such as:
- a change in appearance eg puckering or dimpling of the skin; a change in the outline or shape of the breast, especially those caused by arm movements or by lifting the breast
- discomfort or pain eg discomfort or pain in one breast that is different from normal, particularly if new and persistent
- lumps eg any thickening or bumpy areas in one breast or armpit which seems to be different from the same part of the other breast and armpit. This is very important if it is new
- nipple changes eg discharge from the nipple that is new for you and not milky; bleeding or moist reddish areas that do not heal easily; any change in nipple position – pulled in or pointing differently; a rash on or around the nipple.
Most of these symptoms do not turn out to be breast cancer but should be checked by a medical professional.
Breast cancer risk assessment service
Our genetics department also have a breast cancer risk assessment service for patients who have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.