Breast Care Nurse

Hello everyone.


i have recently been diagnosed with a large high grade DCIS.  I have an appointment very shortly to see the consultants but beforehand I wanted to check some information with my breast cancer nurse.


i phoned her and left a message to contact me which she did after 5 hours.  Unfortunately I couldn’t take the call but she did say she would try again in the next 1.5 working days.  This period has now elapsed without any further attempt to call me.  I have tried again this morning but have had to leave a message as it went direct to answer phone.


I appreciate that they have other jobs to do and they are not waiting by the phone just in case I call but what is reasonable to expect?  This is all pretty new for me and I am not exactly getting that warm fuzzy feeling when I could do with a bit of hand holding!


Some of my questions are clinic/case specific so it is not exactly something that I can ask here.


Thank you for reading/‘listening’ to my worries.


Hi Ezzie


everybody will have different experiences with their hospital and the way they work.  So, my experience has been that the pathway, treatment, medical and surgical, and ward team have been 100%responsive kind and caring.  However , unfortunately my BCN has been very much the same as you are experiencing, in fact I gave up trying to get any kind of info from her, and had I needed more treatment I would have asked for a different nurse.


My nurses did have a system where they answered at lunchtime, if you left message on answer phone.


I hate being negative as my treatment has been fantastic, the NHS at its best.  Perhaps your nursing team need a little nudge, you don’t need the anxiety and They are meant to help.  There is the nurse line here too, xxx

Hi Ezzie

I have experienced the same with my BCN’s! They have come in on 2 of my appointments but inbetween when I have needed support they haven’t returned any calls.
There Is a breast ERAS nurse at my hospital who has been amazing but she is on the surgical recovery side so now that bit it over for me I won’t be seeing her.
Funny enough I bumped into my mac BCN in Tesco Express last night and had a conversation!
Keep phoning every day!

Sandra x

Hi Ezzie, yes, similar experience to you re phone call help. Totally different experience face to face, though, thankfully. I asked why the delay and apparently there are clinics a.m, so no BC around, then team meetings to discuss cases, so another delay. I used the helpline here when it was bad. A BCN did get back to me eventually. I had a fast growing but bog standard tumour, and had confidence in my team that they were working hard on my behalf. I would certainly persevere with phone calls, bearing in mind they can only tell you what has already been discussed. I went into my clinic once for a face to face, but I’m quite near the hospital. Hoping you get something sorted. Best wishes. X

Hi Ezzie.
The same here; out of the 6 times I’ve called my bcn, I’ve only been able to speak to her once. She works part time and has taken a lot of holidays recently. Now, when I need to speak to anyone, I just call the bc department and ask to speak to a nurse. Any that are available will take your call. Not ideal I know, but better than nothing. Most of the advice I should of probably been given by my bcn I’ve actually been given by the ladies in this forum.

A big thank you to all for responding to my thread.  It makes me feel a lot better that I am not the only one but somewhat disappointed that it does happen.  I finally got a call late this afternoon but I did get the feeling that her compassion and sympathy gene had been dis-engaged.  Maybe that is the only way that they can get through their working day.  I wouldn’t like to do it.


Here’s hoping that the rest of the team do the trick in making me feel more comfortable and confident with the situation.  Otherwise, I might just be wearing the small contents of my ‘new kitchen savings account’ on my chest having used it for a private assessment! :wink: x

Hi Lizzie.
If you read through this thread you’ll see many of us are in the same situation. I managed to get the numbers for five bc nurses from the department where I had my op. Now when I need to speak to someone I just call them all until I get one that answers. I’ve rarely managed to speak to mine but the others can help just as much. X

I have real difficulty communicating with my allocated BC NURSE. I am willing to admit it may be a clash of personalities but that doesn’t really help. She wasn’t at any of my initial specialist meetings and made an appointment with me just before chemo started. It was proabably the most negative meeting I have ever had and I investigate crimes for a living. I am quite a positive person and I like facts and details. Everything she said had a negative kick in the tail, for example "you have to keep an eye on your weight during treatment, followed by some people get fat “. Or my mums personal favourite. " when you get to the 5th chemo treatment you will feel like it’s almost over but the 6th one is often the worst”. She gave me no useful info, I am not great with that soft sympathetic voice thing and I left feeling thoroughly deflated and probably for the first time in my life a little depressed. I have since kicked myself in the backside, done a little research and found myself a cancer support group. I haven’t gone yet but at least I know it’s there. I read the stuff on here when I need help and I simply ignore the BC nurse.
She came into my oncologist meeting last week, uninvited and was no help. She even managed to keep referring to my partner as my husband which did make me giggle a bit.
I am thoroughly un impressed with her as an individual but I do have to say my care has been first class, and as far as I am concerned she is just in the wrong job and I am sure there are great BC nurses out there who are doing a sterling job