What happens if i'm diagnosed with breast cancer?

You will meet with a specialist to confirm your breast cancer diagnosis. The specialist works as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of cancer specialists who will help plan your treatment with you.

You will also meet a specialist breast care nurse who will be your keyworker during your diagnosis and treatment.

What treatment will I have?

There are many different treatments for breast cancer. You will be advised by your specialist team what the best treatment options are for you,  and 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 both sites for patients receiving chemotherapy.


Our breast cancer radiotherapy services are provided by a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled and innovative staff at the Royal Derby Hospital. 

Secondary (metastatic) breast cancer care

We provide a highly specialised service in dedicated clinics for patients with secondary (metastatic) breast cancer. Patients have access to a wide range of healthcare professionals who contribute to the medical, nursing, and supportive management of care. This includes dedicated clinical nurse specialists for secondary breast cancer who provide information, advice, and support within the hospital and liaise with local services.

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 this, nurse practitioners will be able to discuss this with you and arrange referrals to other services as appropriate.

Common side effects include;

  • Fatigue
  • Menopausal changes
  • Joint pains and stiffness
  • Vaginal changes
  • Changes to sleep pattern
  • Emotional changes
  • Work issues
  • Changes in confidence
  • Fear/vulnerability/worry for the future