The Breast Unit at Yeovil District Hospital sees over 1200 breast referrals each year and treats over 100 new breast cancers annually.

We offer specialist care and support

The specialist breast care team cover all aspects of breast care including treatment for benign breast disease and breast cancer. We use modern surgical techniques that provide excellent cancer treatment and promote rapid surgical recovery.

The routine use of minimally invasive sentinel lymph node biopsy techniques to assess lymph nodes in the armpit reduces the need for more extensive surgery and longer hospital stays for many women.

We fully appreciate the emotional and physical impact that breast surgery can have and for this reason we are developing a breast reconstruction service. Our breast care nurse specialists provide expert guidance and support whenever you need it.

Our service is delivered by a group of dedicated specialists including breast surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, pathologists and specialist breast care nurses. We all work closely together and meet weekly to discuss newly diagnosed and treated patients. As a team we agree individual treatment plans and ensure that these start as quickly as possible.

We participate in many national cancer trials and local and national audits. This ensures that our patients are offered the best treatments available and that our service meets the highest standards of care.

Contact us

If you would like any further information about the service please contact our Breast Care Nurse Specialists on: 01935 384352.

What to expect

You may be very worried about your visit but 90% of people do not have a serious abnormality such as cancer. We encourage you to bring a partner, friend or relative with you when you attend. They can stay with you for most of the visit including some of the tests and your consultation if this is what you want.We want to make your visit to the clinic as easy as possible so please let us know if you have any special requirements such as an interpreter, signer or wheelchair access. Please let us know if you need hospital transport. You can contact the appointments desk on 01935 384432.

In the clinic you will be seen by one of the doctors or specialist breast care nurses who will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. You will then be examined by a doctor. Please do not use talcum powder or deodorant on the morning of your appointment as this can interfere with some of the investigations done at the clinic.There are several tests that are carried out in the clinic although you may not need all of them. We aim to give you the results of your tests before leaving but this means you may need to be in the clinic for several hours. Sometimes we will ask you to come back for results or further tests.

You may need a mammogram and/or an ultrasound scan which are done in the X-ray department.If you have come to the clinic with a breast lump it is important to find out exactly what it is. The doctor may take a sample of the lump by passing a fine needle into it and withdrawing some cells. These cells will be looked at under the microscope and we will be able to tell you the results during your visit. Sometimes the needle test does not give us enough information and we need to perform biopsy under local anaesthetic. It will take another week or so to get the results back from this biopsy. Most patients in the clinic will not have cancer. For patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer, the doctor and specialist breast care nurse will discuss and plan the treatment options. The specialist breast care nurse is available for support and advice about any treatment. We can provide some useful leaflets and contact numbers to take away.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme offers women between the ages of 50 and 70 years three yearly mammograms to screen for breast cancer.

Somerset Breast Screening is administered by the Breast Care Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital. Women are called for screening every three years to one of the two mobile units which travel around the county. Patients with poor mobility are screened at the Breast Care Centre itself which has disabled access.All women with an abnormality shown on their screening mammogram are recalled to an assessment clinic. If treatment is required this is often done at Musgrove Park Hospital but some cases can be done here at Yeovil.

Breast reconstruction should be discussed with any woman who needs a mastectomy.

For some women breast reconstruction can be done at the time of the mastectomy, so called immediate breast reconstruction, but for others the surgery must be later after other treatments are completed.

The breast reconstruction service in Somerset is currently delivered at Musgrove Park Hospital and Salisbury District Hospital. However we are developing the service here at Yeovil District Hospital so that women can have their surgery close to home. We have established a dedicated breast reconstruction clinic and if you wish to talk about breast reconstruction please contact the breast care nurses.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you may need to have an appointment with us in the Douglas Macmillan unit to discuss further treatment options apart from surgery.

This may be either chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both. We work closely with our surgical team and you will also have lots of support here from different staff members including chemotherapy and breast care nurses, secretaries, receptionists, health care assistants as well as the doctors.

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