Breast cancer diagnosis

Tissue samples are sent to a tissue expert (pathologist) for examination under a microscope. This is the only way to confirm (without doubt) the presence of cancer.

When will I get the results?

We will aim to contact you within two weeks to offer an appointment to discuss your biopsy results.

What happens if I am diagnosed with breast cancer?

You will meet with a clinician, supported by a specialist breast care nurse, to confirm your breast cancer diagnosis who are part of a Multi-Disciplinary Team of cancer specialists who will help plan your treatment with you.

What treatment will I have?

There are many different treatments for breast cancer. Your specialist team will advise the best treatment option for you, following the Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting, where you will have the opportunity to discuss them in detail. These treatments may include:

Breast cancer surgery

The breast cancer surgery we offer includes mastectomy (with or without breast reconstruction), breast-conserving surgery (using oncoplastic surgical techniques), breast reconstruction, and complex cancer and revisional reconstructive surgery.


Chemotherapy is sometimes used as the first treatment and sometimes after surgery. We have dedicated units at the Royal Derby Hospital and Queen's Hospital Burton for patients receiving chemotherapy.


Breast cancer radiotherapy services are provided at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is a treatment that can stop/reduce the effect of oestrogen on breast cancer cells. Hormone therapy is also sometimes called endocrine therapy.

Common problems after diagnosis and treatment

All breast cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy, can have the possibility of side effects. Each person may have a different experience of treatment related side effects.

If you have concerns about any side effects, nurse practitioners will be able to discuss this with you and arrange referrals to other services as appropriate.

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