Contact: (0191) 282 0652 - Margaret Robson, Breast Unit Co-ordinator
The Breast Unit based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary is the largest in the North East of England, treating around 450 new cases of breast cancer every year.
We are the only service in the region offering a minimally invasive procedure called Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, which uses the lymph nodes in your armpit to check how far the cancer has developed. This reduces the need for extensive surgery and means you will normally only need to stay 1-2 days in hospital.
We fully appreciate the emotional impact that breast surgery can have and provide immediate breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy surgery. If for any reason this is inappropriate, we can arrange for breast reconstruction at a later date. See our Breast Reconstruction Service page for more information.
Specialist care to meet all your needs
We cover all aspects of breast care, including special clinics for younger patients and for women whose family history suggests they have a higher than normal risk of developing breast cancer. Our Breast Care Nurse Specialists provide expert guidance and support whenever you need it.
You can be referred to us either by your own GP, or via the NHS Breast Screening Programme which gives all women aged 50 to 70 a mammography test once every 3 years. (Women over 70 can request an invitation for breast screening). Over half of the breast cancers we treat are found through the screening programme, which generally detects cancer at an early stage when there is an extremely good cure rate. All patients with breast disease are followed up regularly to reduce the risk of breast cancer in the future.
Our service is delivered by a wide range of specialists including; breast and plastic surgeons, radiologists, geneticists and specialist breast care nurses. Our clinicians work closely together, meeting weekly to discuss all newly diagnosed or treated patients to ensure treatment plans cover all aspects of care and start as quickly as possible.
Ensuring we meet the highest standards of care
We are an enthusiastic supporter of national cancer trials, ensuring that our patients can be offered the best treatment available. While the national target for participation in trials is 10%, over 30% of our patients choose to take part.
The Breast Unit has been evaluated by two independent healthcare assessment bodies in the last year, ie. NHS Cancer Peer Review and the NHS Breast Screening Quality Assurance Process. The outcomes of both external assessments were very successful, demonstrating the high standards of care we provide to every patient.
If you would like any further information about this service please contact:
Mrs Margaret Robson
Breast Unit Coordinator (Symptomatic)
Telephone: (0191) 282 0652
or one of our Breast Care Nurse Specialists
Telephone: (0191) 282 0207 or 282 0208