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Breast Health - Questions and Answers

Mr Bradpiece FRCS answers questions on breast health.

Mr Howard Bradpiece is a Consultant General & Breast Surgeon based at the Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.

Academic background

Mr Bradpiece graduated in South Africa in 1977. He then completed his postgraduate training at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and King's College Hospital, London.

Now fully independent, Mr Bradpiece was formerly Consultant General and Breast Surgeon at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

Here Mr Bradpiece answers common questions about breast health.


Breast Health Concerns

Q, Is it normal to have tender and painful breasts?

A, It depends on your time of life and menstrual history.  Young women often have tender, painful and even lumpy breasts especially in the week leading up to a period.  These symptoms may change for the better after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Q, Should I see my doctor if I notice a lump, or any other changes to the breast?

A, Anything that feels different about the breasts for a woman of any age is a reason for seeking advice, especially if it persists after a period.


Q, Should I see my doctor if I have discharge from my nipple?

A, Nipple discharges are common and usually not a cause for concern unless it is one sided, emerging from a single duct or blood stained.


Q, How do I find out whether my breast problem is serious?

 A, The only way to be absolutely certain about the seriousness of the problem is to be assessed by a breast specialist with appropriate imaging (X ray and ultrasound) and possible tissue sampling (needle test).


Q, What happens at a breast clinic?

A, In the breast clinic, a breast specialist will take your history and examine you and then send you for an X-ray and / or ultrasound scan depending in part on your age.  Sampling of the breast tissue by means of a needle test may or may not be necessary.  The results will usually be available on the same day (one stop clinic).  Core biopsies can take 24 hours to process.


Q, How soon would I get an appointment?

A, Currently a one stop breast clinic is available on a Tuesday and a Friday at The Rivers Hospital - although for highly anxious women, Mr Bradpiece (Consultant breast specialist) is prepared to see anyone within 24 hours.  If imaging or biopsy are required then on a non one-step visit a further appointment may be required.  Insured patients will require a GP referral if they are going to be covered for their visit.  If self-funding all that is required is a phone call to the Rivers 01279 602 675 or 01279 602 643 to arrange a consultation even on the day of appointment.


Q, When would I get my results?

A, Most results are available on the day.

For more information please see our breast clinic page


 To book an appointment, please call 01279 602 675.

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