At The Holly, cancer care has continued throughout the pandemic. Sally Shanley, Breast Care Nurse Specialist, discusses the hospital’s cancer services and talks through the innovative One-stop Breast Clinic.
About The Holly’s breast cancer services
“I’m really proud of the friendly and comprehensive breast cancer service that we offer patients at The Holly. We know that diagnosis or breast symptoms can be a very worrying time so we do everything possible to provide a robust and accurate service that gives patients reassurance as quickly as we can.
From assessment, diagnosis and treatment through to aftercare and support services, our team of Breast Consultant Surgeons are supported by specialist Oncologists, Radiologists and Breast Care Nurses like me to provide a truly high-quality service. It’s a real pleasure to work with a skilled and talented group of people, and we all work in tandem to provide a patient-centred service.
Our breast service is accredited by Bupa and was recently awarded status as a Bupa Centre of Excellence, a real sense of pride for everyone in the team.”
What is the One-stop Breast Clinic?
“When you’re worried about a lump or any other symptom, you want to be seen and have relevant investigations as soon as possible. We appreciate and understand this at The Holly, which is why we developed a One-stop Clinic, offering consultations as well as physical examinations, and diagnostic tests, all in the space of a few hours under one roof.
It’s one of our most popular clinics as it’s designed to provide a speedy diagnosis for any breast concern. It involves a comprehensive assessment offering a thorough and accurate diagnosis and includes a clinical assessment with a breast specialist Consultant Surgeon, a review of your clinical history and risk factors, and any scans including ultrasound and mammogram if required. Patients will have the support of Breast Care Nurses throughout the process to provide guidance and assistance.”
Will I receive results the same day?
“Following your investigations the Consultant will see you back in the clinic, where you are likely to be accompanied by myself or one of my colleagues, specialist Breast Care Nurses. Whenever possible, results will be available within the same appointment to enable a speedy diagnosis and reduce the anxiety of waiting for results.
During the appointment, the Consultant will explain the results to you and, if necessary, discuss the options and recommend any further course of treatment needed. You will usually be given relevant written information to take away and read.
Thankfully, for most patients, the results from breast cancer investigations are normal. If, however, an abnormality is detected, I or one of my colleagues will be there to provide immediate support and guidance to you as well as to loved ones. This is one of the most important aspects of my job and the one I value the most. Patients will also receive specialist support and information on treatment options from our Consultants.
At The Holly, we work hard to provide the highest levels of personalised cancer care in comfortable, friendly and relaxing surroundings. We work closely with you to support your individual choices and preferences in a warm, caring and supportive environment.”
What are the cancer symptoms to look out for?
“The most common and easy to recognise symptoms that require further assessment when it comes to breast care include any form of breast lump, nipple discharge or inversion, any change in breast shape and skin dimpling.
Fundamentally though, it’s also important to give yourself some TLC. By this I mean Touch, Look and Check. Touch your breasts: Can you feel anything unusual? Look for any changes, and Check anything unusual with a doctor.
Breast Cancer risk increases with age so you’re never too old for some TLC!”
Booking and availability
The One-stop Breast Clinic is available from £400 including scans and fees for Consultants (fees may vary, T&Cs apply). The service offers minimal waiting times and we aim to book appointments for patients within 48 hours.
The Clinic is available four days per week: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Treatments are open to medically insured patients and self-paying patients.
Note: the picture accompanying this blog is pre-pandemic.