What hospital should i choose??

I have a very defined large lump in my breast and my doctor is refferring me howevere i was a bit stumped when they asked if i wanted to go to East Surrey, Guildford or Brighton as i am nearest East Surrey so I said East Surrey but since then my mother has been on at me that Guildford ids the best etc and i should change it which i know i can do but if its the first stage of tests then surely it doesn’t matter or does it?? I have a newborn and a toddler so i was going for convenience which is maybe not a good idea. My mum is a particularly anxious woman anyway but i obviously want to choose wisely in case further treatment is applicable and i’m tied into East Surrey if i initially go there if that makes sense??

I’m trying to talk about this rationally but i’m starting to panic a bit and this decision has been blown up in my mind to be quite a huge one rightly or wrongly so any advice would be great.

Lolabelle

Hi Lolabelle,

Firstly I am sorry you are having to find yourself in this position, I truly hope everything turns out alright.
I think you are being sensible in considering which hospital to be referred to.

I think you should go by recommendations rather than hear say. Perhaps your doctor can advise you on the facilities each hospital has for BC in particular. You may want to know the waiting lists for treatment. How many consultants dealing with BC are available at each hospital etc etc.

Don’t go for convenience alone, it helps with the stress but long waits can make you anxious. I think hospitals will have their websites you could check out on. In addition put another post on this site naming the two hospitals and ask people if they have experience of these hospitals.
I live in Nottingham, a centre of excellence. The BC Institute is good, very good but the oncology dept leaves much to be desired so it can be swings and roundabouts.

Good Luck

Hi Lolabelle

I think that the decision you made was perfectly rational, but, to put your mum’s mind at rest check out the various hospital websites. You might find that the same consultants work in two or even all three. Ask your GP too, although I suspect if they considered one much better/ much worse than the others they’d have mentioned it when giving you a choice.

Where I am the breast consultants are based in one hospital, the oncologists are based in another - and i attend the one in the middle! We do have our own breast care nurses and chemo suite, and it suits me. Getting to either of the other hospitals would be a nightmare.

Hopefully it will just mean a stop at the breast clinic, tests, then the all clear.

Congrats on the new baby!

hugs

x x x

Hi Lolabelle

It sounds like you’re feeling quite anxious at the moment, maybe it would help to talk to someone in confidence about your concerns. If you think this might help please contact the Breast Cancer Care helpline as the team will be happy to offer a listening ear. I am sure the feelings you are having are only natural but can understand your worries. BCC are here to support you so please use us if it will help. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm. The number is free phone 0808 800 6000.

Kind regards

Sam
Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

Dr Mark Kissim is at Guildford I believe and he has a good reputation for reconstructive oncoplastic surgery. So if you did have breast cancer he’d be a good person to see

Mole

I have started another discussion as i have heard Dr Mark Kissan at Guildford is excellent but i’ve heard no feedback about East Surrey…reckon i am highly anxious and the smallest decision is making me feel even more anxious!

Hi

Have replied to you on your other thread. Did not see this one. Sorry.

Anne x

Hi Lolabelle,
Sorry you have to find yourself here - especially with two tiny kids. I had to choose between Brighton and Guildford - in the end opted for brighton as they were the ones who first delt with me. Guildford is meant to be very good as is this Dr Kissan, having said that i have been happy with the ‘team’ i have had at Brighton (hope my faith isn’t misplaced). If you need rads there is quite a wait at Brighton but i think it is the same in most of the hospitals. Do hope it all turns out to be a false alarm - the waiting is the worst bit
cheers
caroline

This underlines the idiocy of saying the patient has a choice. How can that patient make a choice if no criteria are available to tell them which of the hospitals offered is better at one thing or another? The clerks handling these matters are not allowed to offer advice or direction, so in the end it usually comes down to the most conveniently placed.

Hi Lolabelle

I am having treatment in Guildford and have been really pleased with the team there. I actually go privately - the team is the same but can’t really comment on the NHS hospital facilities. They do though have a wonderful centre called the Fountain Centre which provides complementary therapies (massage, yoga, counselling, shiatzu etc etc) as well as a quiet place to sit and wait - I am a regular visitor there. Mark Kissin is very knowledgeable and has done a fantastic surgical job on me (mastectomy and breast reconstruction - no-one can really tell my breast is reconstructed as he managed to preserve the nipple and give me a very good shape). Anthony Neal is the oncologist who again is very knowledgeable (always up-to-date on latest treatments etc). A great team and one, in my view, with a deservedly good reputation!

HOWEVER having said all that, you are really at the very early stages and I would have thought go for the most convenient location for those first tests - ie East Surrey. I don’t think you will be tied into that if you do require further treatment but you could always ring and ask to speak to the Breast Care nurse there and check - or speak to your gp again. It would also give you a chance to see what they can offer at the East Surrey and how you feel about the team there (should the tests show it is bc) because if you do require treatment, going local will certainly make it a lot easier for you with your 2 little ones. You always have the right to ask for a second opinion (at Guildford if you wanted) if you weren’t entirely happy with what they were saying/suggesting. One thing to check out is whether the oncologist and the surgeon work closely together - I know the 2 in Guildford meet very regularly to discuss patients. Don’t think that is so true of all other hospital “teams”.

There are lots of people on this forum (and support through BCC) who will be able to advise once you know what the plan is and what treatment you might need.

Really hope that all this turns out to be a false alarm - but the waiting is horrible. Have you got an appointment date yet?

Let us know how you get on and how we can help.

Kay x