Anyone else only see registrar or should I hvae seen consultant?

I only saw a registrar when I got my pathology report and diagnosis yesterday. Is that usual, should I have seen a consultant? The registrar was helpful in that he answered all my questions but does he know everything? He scared me rigid and was fairly blase. I have high-grade DCIS which has spread all over my breast so need a mastectomy (booked in 11th December but deciding whether to go for immediate reconstruction which will delay the operation - he said: best not to as the cancer might spread - but I’ve already waited 3 years as they told me at the clinic at that time there was nothing to worry about (I was bleeding from nipple and was pregnant - now I realise they should have called me back after I gave birth and given me a mammogram.) So how can another few weeks make that much difference? Should I insist on seeing a consultant? Please advise - any comments would be gratefully accepted!!!

Hi Flax

Sorry you have had to join us with this horrible diagnosis - but ‘welcome’ anyway to the site that no-one wants to join. You will get loads of support on here tho.

I would have thought you should always see the consultant for diagnosis and discussion of treatment etc - if not out of common courtesy than anything else - he/she is the expert after all. I would def insist on seeing cons before you make your decision.

Incidentally - I am having surgery on 10th Dec - just waiting to see surgeon on Friday to discsuss whether wle or mastectomy!.

Take care and good luck

i was given the results of my pathology report (not great) by a (junior i think) registrar. to say he lacked people skills is being generous. it was the worst experience in this whole horrible thing so far. we did get to see a a very impressive specialist registrar the following week and it made a huge difference to the way my husband and i were able to digest the information and treatment plan. the lead consultant was on holiday at the time and so there was a reason we couldn’t see him at that point. we have seen him since and that was also helpful. if you are unhappy i think you should be firm about seeing someone else.


I have only seen my onc when got dx, and the first time I had an apointment during my chemo, he was on hols so saw a lady onc, and the 2nd appointment was with his registrar and he was sitting on his bum in the next door room. Then was due to see him last week, but was hospitalised, so his registrar came in to see me and that was OK. Now got an appointment on 12 Dec to see Onc, as had my last lot of chemo today and will be discussing Herceptin and my CT Scan, so going to demand that I see him and not his registrar. I think it is so frustrating as all I want to do is talk to him, not his registrar, as when I saw him for my 2nd appoint, he kept going to ask the onc anyway the ansa to my questions.

Probably doesn’t help you … sorry, but hope you are OK.


I did not see the consultant oncologist until after the chemo was finished and I was in hospital for a lung drain. All the consultations were with the registrars. In big clinics, it is not a given that the top person sees everyone. Frankly I preferred the registrars.

I have only seen registrars and locums since being referred (including my original appt with the doctor). I have had no complaints whatsoever - they have all been sympathetic and very knowledgeable. I asked for advice on which course of treatment to follow and the registrar gave his opinion, then went off to ask the consultant who gave a different opinion. The registrar explained why they were different and said that either was a good option (after the second meeting with him, they had both decided on a different course, so it made no difference in the end, but I was happy with how honest my registrar was). When I go back after chemo, I know I will have a different doc, but as long as they are as nice as the others, I don’t mind!


Registrars can only learn to be Consultants by gradually taking on the same role.

I don’t worry about seeing a Registrar provided that the Consultant is involved in making the bigger decisions (e.g. they may have had a prior discussion and then the Registrar relays the decision to the patient).

Thanks all. I have wrangled an appointment to see the big man on Monday - all I want is reassurance really as I am finding it incredibly difficult to digest and cope.

Fiona, I’m having my mastectomy on the 11th - you’re not in Edinburgh by any chance are you?!!!

L xx


Slightly further north am afraid - in Aberdeen!! Saw surgeon today - and am to have mastectomy - was another option but not really an option I dont think. I too am finding it very difficult to digest and cope and have cried on and off all day - have a stonking headache and have prob overdosed on painkillers!!! (not deliberately!!).

Good luck to you L - will be thinking about you lying further down south!


I saw the Consultant when diagnosed and while I was having my chemo. Registrar prior to rads, consultant during rads and a mixture of consultant and reg since finishing treatment. My Consultant’s Registrars have been very nice and seem very thorough and have more time to spend with me than Consultant, who sometimes makes me feel quite rushed as he’s got such a large clinic. According to my oncology sister that I see when I have my monthly zometa, consultant is really pleased with me, if he was concerned I would be seeing him every time!

Denio x