Breast clinic referral

Hi all. 

I found a lump in my breast at the beginning of December and managed to get an appointment with my GP quickly, who referred me to the breast clinic for further investigation. I received a letter from the breast clinic about a week later saying I had been put on a waiting list for an appointment but I would get an appointment for a mammogram before I would be seen by the clinic. A couple of days later I got an appointment for a mammogram on Christmas Eve, and I am now back to waiting for an appointment with the breast clinic. 

Has anyone else had things done this way as everything I have read so far is that you are usually seen at the breast clinic on the same day as you get a mammogram? 

thanks

Mine was all at a one stop shop,but I know there are more mammogram units than breast clinics so it maybe was to do with local commissioning? In my area the ccg that commissions our mobile mammogram units doesn’t have a local breast clinic so the GPS have to commission from another ccg. 

Doesn’t make the waiting any easier though does it?  Hope you get your appointment through soon. 

X

Hi Gems

The NHS is committed to a 2-week turnaround on referrals relating to cancer. The norm is that you have a mammogram or equivalent test, it’s examined by a breast specialist who then sees you to discuss further tests, discoveries etc. I would suggest three possible explanations - that your hospital is short-staffed owing to Covid-19 so they are doing the best they can OR they have redesigned the breast clinic operation to reduce the number of women being there and maybe operate a one-way system. So, they do the mammogram, then get you to attend the breast clinic with less hanging about. Both make sense to me but it doesn’t help when your mind is working overtime and all you want is to be seen and told! 

My third suggestion is based on the knowledge that most referrals turn out to be benign. By most, I mean a really significant number. They are always taken seriously just in case. It is possible that your GP has described their findings and it’s been decided your symptoms are lower-risk. Apparently, GPs generally can tell by the feel of the edges whether or not a lump is likely to be cancer. When I was in my 30s, my GP actually said “This is nothing to be worried about but, given the size, I want to refer you.” I had a fibroadenoma (that needed to be removed).  This is pure speculation but do remember, most lumps referred turn out to be harmless. Let’s hope that’s your experience?

All the best xx