This page is for anyone who has been referred to our Breast Care Unit.
If you have been referred for routine breast screening please see the King’s College Hospital breast screening webpage. The NHS Cancer Screening Programme website has a step by step guide to breast screening. Public Health England also has a full guide to screening.
If you are referred to the Breast Care Unit by your GP (General Practitioner) you will receive an appointment letter with full details of your appointment.
How we will care for you
We provide a diagnostic and treatment service for women with breast conditions. We see all new patients within 14 days of referral, as per the NHS standard for urgent referrals. We run regular clinics, as follows:
- Monday: mornings
- Tuesday: mornings
- Wednesday: afternoons (on occasions)
- Thursday: afternoons
- Friday: no clinic
Morning clinics starts at 8.30am. Afternoon clinics start at 1pm.
We aim to offer you same-day consultation and investigation with a member of the breast care team, though this is not always possible. If you need any further investigations, such as a mammogram (breast x-ray) or biopsy, you may be in the unit between two to four hours. Please make provisions for this, such as bringing snack or refreshments.
What will happen at your appointment
- You will be referred onto 2WW pathway by your GP (or within King’s).
- You will be seen in a one stop clinic by a consultant breast surgeon or a member of their team.
- A member of the medical team (consultant, clinical fellow, registrar or foundation year doctor) will take your medical history and complete a clinical examination.
- You will be sent for a mammogram, and/or tomosynthesis, and/or ultrasound, and/or biopsy sampling as required. For example, some patients will only need a mammogram while others will need a mammogram and ultrasound. The consultant radiologist undertakes the necessary procedures. All diagnostic tests are performed on the same day.
If your consultant is not concerned by findings on the diagnostic tests, you will be reassured and discharged.
- If your breast or radiology consultant is concerned by the findings of the diagnostic tests and a biopsy is taken, this will be discussed with you. If you then have any further concerns, a breast clinical nurse specialist (CNS) can talk you through the next steps.
- You will be asked to return to the clinic in one week for the results of your biopsy.
- Your case will be discussed at a multidisciplinary meeting and a biopsy results report will be confirmed.
- Your multidisciplinary team will decide on a treatment plan, further investigations or next steps.
If no cancer is suspected, you will be discharged back to the community
If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, you will attend a results clinic with your consultant surgeon and breast CNS (as per national guidance) and given your cancer diagnosis.
Preparing for your appointment
No special preparation is needed for this clinic appointment. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you, as it may be helpful if you have concerns about understanding what the medical team will discuss with you.
You may be in the unit between two to four hours. Please make provisions for this, such as bringing snack or refreshments.
Chartwell Unit, Level 0, North Wing, Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough Common, Orpington, Kent, BR6 8ND
Breast Care Unit Main Reception (PRUH): 01689 863 159
For GPs and referrers
Refer a patient
GPs should refer via NHS e-referral (e-RS) wherever possible.
For emergency referrals, please contact the consultant by calling the Breast Care Unit on 01689 863 159.
We offer clinical consultation, imaging and counselling, with results discussed and management plans agreed at a weekly multidisciplinary meeting. All patients are offered an appointment within 14 days and emergency patients (including breast abscesses) are seen on request the same day.
Our symptomatic clinics investigate both benign and malignant diseases and provide:
- Investigation and treatment of all breast symptoms, such as lumps, mastalgia and nipple discharge.
- Advice about familial risk of breast cancer and interactions with hormone replacement therapy.
- Screening for occult breast cancer.
- Management of breast cancer risk such as Hodgkin’s disease from earlier radiation exposure.
- Prostheses advice and fitting.
- Breast reconstruction, which is offered to all patients having mastectomy.
We do not provide cosmetic surgery services or family history screening.