It is natural to worry about surgery when you have a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Before your operation you will have a pre-assessment. This is to check your overall health and go through your planned surgery. You’ll usually be asked to attend a pre-assessment clinic shortly before your surgery date, but sometimes this assessment is done once you’re in hospital for your operation.
The assessment may involve a number of tests including a chest x-ray, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests to assess whether you are fit for surgery. A severe infection or serious heart or lung problems may stop surgery going ahead. As you are worrying that you may have other possible health issues talk it through with your breast care nurse and at your pre assessment appointment with the nurse.
Pre assessment is a good opportunity to ask any questions and make sure you understand everything. They will be able to talk to you about the situations where surgery may need to be delayed or is not advisable.
You’ll be asked about any medication you're taking, and any allergies you have. If you smoke, you may be asked to try to cut down or stop smoking to help your recovery from the anaesthetic and surgery. If you drink alcohol you may be advised to reduce the number of units, you drink.
Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support.
Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.
The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).
If you would like a nurse to call you do complete this form. Ticking the box agreeing to a call back.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Breast Cancer Now Nurse
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hi jinksey.... I was the same....worried about everything.
My pre assessment comprised, a nurse taking a medical history from you, weight, height, bloods, Covid swab, Mrsa swab, ecg heart trace and chest X-ray.... it’s all very generic to anyone having any type of surgery..... any ct scans or mris that are requested will not be part of the pre assessment.
hope all goes well
I am worrying myself sick at the moment trying desperately to look for answers.
I have been diagnosed with Ductal Breast Cancer - Oestrogen positive 18mm
I am supposed to be having a WLE
My main concern at the moment is the Pre- Assessment.
My cancer has not spread and has been suggested as 'Early Stages'
I am worried that when I have the pre assessment they might uncover a problem I never knew I even had and won't be able to have the surgery. IE cirrhosis of the liver (not breast cancer related) or any other issues.
I am worrying about every possible scenario.
Can you let me know what will actually stop surgery.