Breast Screening Services at Ashtead Hospital in Surrey

Breast Screening Services

Breast Services

Ashtead Hospital provides excellent, local and comprehensive breast services to patients in Surrey who require the diagnosis or surgical treatment of breast disorders.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor. Non-symptomatic women can also utilise our breast screening service.

We have specialist breast surgeons, specialist breast radiologists, dedicated mammographers and breast care nurses who work together to offer a wealth of clinical experience and provide first class breast care for all our patients.

Should surgery be required we perform sentinel node biopsies, wide local excisions (lumpectomies), mastectomies and breast reconstruction. We offer the latest developments in reconstructive breast surgery including fat transfer and the use of Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM). We can also offer cosmetic procedures including breast augmentation, reduction and uplift.

Breast screening service

Breast screening checks for changes in a woman’s breasts and enables breast cancer to be detected early on, usually before you notice any signs or symptoms. The earlier breast cancer is found the better the chance of treating and surviving it.

It’s recommended that women should have a mammogram at least every three years to help detect breast cancer at a very early stage. The NHS runs a national breast screening programme for women aged 50 to 70 years in the UK.

We offer a breast screening service for women of any age and for those who have a family history of breast cancer and we have the expertise to promptly carry out the necessary investigations required.

Breast symptomatic service

We run a symptomatic breast assessment clinic for women presenting with a breast symptom who have been referred by their GP or our private GP service. Breast symptoms may include:

  • a lump in either of your armpits
  • discharge from either of your nipples
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • breast skin dimpling
  • nipple rash
  • nipple change such as becoming sunken into your breast

Here at Ashtead Hospital we provide a prompt, highly specialised service, very often in one visit.

Our one stop assessment clinic offers patients an initial appointment with a breast consultant, digital mammography, further investigations if required (x-ray, ultrasound, biopsy) and, a diagnostic consultation with the breast consultant to discuss the findings and provide a diagnosis. We aim to reduce the waiting time for investigation results to alleviate any unnecessary anxiety and allow a swift treatment plan if required.

Male patients are also seen in this clinic for appropriate investigations.

Family history service

If you have a family history of breast cancer, or you’ve been assessed as being of a moderate or high risk of developing breast cancer, you may benefit from more frequent screening. Ashtead hospital can offer this screening service and also evaluate your cancer risk.

Breast lump biopsy

Your breast consultant may recommend that you have a breast biopsy following an ultrasound. A biopsy is the only way to tell for certain whether you have breast cancer or not.

It involves taking a sample of cells or tissue from the area of your breast that needs to be checked and sending the biopsy to a laboratory for examination. Results will be available in two to three days.

There are a number of ways to take a breast lump biopsy including:

  • Core needle biopsy - hollow needle is used to remove breast tissue under local anaesthetic – may require ultrasound guidance.
  • Fine needle (aspiration) biopsy - a very thin needle and syringe are used to remove a sample of cells from the breast lump
  • Vacuum-assisted core breast biopsy – thin probe and gentle vacuum pump used. Often for larger samples or if more than one sample is required. May require ultrasound guidance.

Wide local excision (lumpectomy)

Wide local excision is an operation performed under general anaesthetic to remove the cancer or pre-cancerous changes in the breast and also an area of ‘good’ tissue around the lump to ensure the cancer has been completely removed. The amount of tissue removed can vary greatly and will depend on: the type of cancer you have, the size of the tumour, the location in your breast, the amount of surrounding tissue that needs to be removed and your breast size.

It’s also known as breast conserving or breast preservation surgery.

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