Discharge from the Breast Cancer Follow-up – Information for Patients

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-235/2022
  • Departments: Breast Services
  • Last Updated: 1 May 2022

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your discharge from the Breast Cancer Follow Up Clinic.

Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not meant to replace the discussion between you and your breast doctor but may act as a starting point for discussion.

If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the Macmillan Breast Care Nursing team caring for you.

This leaflet is intended to give you advice about further follow up for mammograms, which symptoms you may need to act upon and useful contact details.

You have now been discharged from breast cancer follow-up – what next?

Will I continue to have mammograms?

  • If you are under 50 you will continue to have annual mammograms at the Breast Unit until you are 50.
  • If you are between the ages of 50 and 70 you will be entered into the National Breast Screening Programme, where you will be invited for a mammogram every 3 years.
  • If you are over 70, you will not be routinely invited for a mammogram but can request one every 3 years by contacting your GP or nearest Breast Screening Unit.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Any symptoms that are: new or unusual for you with no obvious cause and do not go away.

Including the following issues:

  • New changes to your breast, chest wall region, neck or under your arm
  • A change in size or shape to your breast
  • A new lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (resembling orange peel)
  • Redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple (which may look like eczema)
  • Your nipple becoming inverted (pulled in) or changing its position or shape
  • Discharge (liquid) from one of both or your nipples
  • swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone and breast bone
  • Constant pain in your breast or armpit

And any new medical symptoms that you are worried could represent a spread of breast cancer. These include:

  • Feeling sick most of the time
  • Severe or ongoing headaches
  • Dry cough
  • Feeling of breathlessness
  • Loss of balance or weakness or numbness of your limbs
  • Loss of control of bladder or bowel
  • Feeling much more tired than usual
  • Altered vision or speech
  • Unexpected weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Pain in your bones such as back, hips, ribs that does not get better or improve with pain relief and may be worse at night
  • Abdominal pain, swelling or jaundice (yellow colouring of the skin)

If you are worried about any of these symptoms or new issues arising, you should contact your own GP who can refer you back to the Breast Clinic where you will be seen within two weeks. If you experience any of the new medical symptoms listed, you must act upon them by discussing with your GP.

Remember there are many causes for these symptoms and they are not necessarily associated with breast cancer.

Should you require further advice on the information or issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact:

The Macmillan Breast Care Nursing Team on (01482) 622013

Other Useful Contact Numbers

Castle Hill Hospital Breast Screening Office, (01482) 622300 – Monday – Friday 0900-1600

Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust Living with and Beyond Cancer Team – (01482) 461091

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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