Breast Clinic

Breast cancer scares every woman.
If surgery is required, you will need emotional support
as well as technical expertise to lead you through the next steps.

The Womens Clinic can help with your journey.

 

I have a breast lump

The vast majority of breast lumps are not cancerous and need no treatment. It is important, however to seek a Professional Assessment if you have noticed a lump in your breast. Assessment is 3 fold:

  • clinical breast examination,
  • radiological examination (mammogram/ultrasound scan),
  • a needle biopsy to look at the cells.

This enables us to give you an answer - as accurate as possible - about what the nature of your breast lump is. Once we know what it is we can treat it appropriately.

Breast lumps that need surgery

If a breast lump does need to be removed, it can be for a number of reasons. These can include:

  • it may be benign but too large to leave
  • it may be symptomatic
  • we are uncertain about the diagnosis and need to remove it to make sure it is not cancerous.
  • it may be a confirmed breast cancer.

Removing a breast lump for diagnostic purposes is a relatively simple operation. It can be done without having to stay in hospital overnight and usually regular Panadol is all the pain relief that is required post-operatively.

However, breast cancer surgery requires a fair amount of planning and discussion to ensure that we have the best outcome for every woman that we treat. Breast conserving surgery versus mastectomy, mastectomy with reconstruction or without - all of these options need a full and frank explanation, outlining the pros and cons of each option. Underarm (Axillary) surgery is also required as part of the breast cancer treatment for each woman. This allows us to stage the cancer and to give advice regarding whether other treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy) are required or not.

This sounds all very daunting and scary. Our job at The Womens Clinic is to put you at ease, arm you with knowledge and support you from the start of treatment to the time that your treatment is over. And even then our job is not completed. We are also there to follow up and make sure you stay healthy and well. Regular mammograms and breast examinations are essential and are very reassuring to women who have been treated for breast cancer.

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Why do I have breast pain?

Usually breast pain is not a worrying symptom - it is only very rarely associated with serious breast conditions. More commonly, it is due to the effect of hormones on your breast tissue. Hormones cause breast tissue to swell and become uncomfortable. During the consultation we will talk about ways of managing the pain if the assessment of your breasts is normal.

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I have a family history of breast cancer

Approximately 10-20% of women who are affected by breast cancer have a relative that has also had breast cancer. This may be due to random bad luck or it may, in a small number, be due to a genetic inheritance pattern in your family. Genetic testing can be performed on women with a particularly strong pattern of family breast cancer, however it is essential that this is undertaken with the utmost consideration. Consultation with a Breast Cancer Specialist and a Geneticist is essential before final decisions regarding gene testing should be made. At Womens Clinic we are very willing to advise and facilitate this process for you.

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For further information or advice: Contact The Womens Clinic on P: 524 8887, 0800 WOMENS or E: reception@womensclinic.co.nz