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Current waiting times (average) Emergency Dept. (A&E): 164 minutes Emergency Dept. (children): 0 minutes Learn more about our waiting times

Breast Care

Symptomatic Breast Clinic

Women and men may be referred to our symptomatic breast clinic at St Mary's Hospital by their GP if they have a breast problem. In most cases the problem will be benign (innocent) but the visit will allow the patient to be assessed and those found to have cancer treated promptly.


Once your referral is received you will usually be seen within two weeks. The first part of your visit will normally be to the breast screening unit (depending on your age)for imaging (mammography and/or ultrasound). This will be followed immediately by a visit to the outpatients department to undergo a clinical examination by the breast care team. At the end of your visit you will be told of your likely diagnosis. Some patients will have had a biopsy and will need to attend one week later when they will receive their results. All cases that undergo biopsy are discussed at our multidisciplinary team meeting where all relevant experts are present.

The majority of patients will be reassured and discharged. For those in whom a more serious condition is diagnosed the options will be discussed and, if necessary, a date for surgery given. Counselling will be given by the breast care nurses who are also available for general advice as well as providing specialist activity such as prosthetic fitting, tattooing and wound checks.

There are some conditions that the NHS no longer treats. These include breast augmentation (making breast bigger) and breast reduction (these may still be treated privately at St. Mary’s). Other conditions will need individual assessment.

Breast problems in men

Men may be referred to our symptomatic breast clinic with a lump or swelling. Breast cancer in men is very rare but does occur.

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