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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

New Breast Pain Clinic

Nene Park Outpatients Clinic

Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital have opened their new breast pain clinic for patients in Northamptonshire. The aim of the Northamptonshire Breast Pain Clinic is to help women who are only experiencing breast pain. This will give them an alternative route into the breast service to be seen by a specialist. This will avoid patients being unnecessarily referred to a cancer pathway, the experience of which can cause significant patient anxiety, further heightened by mammography and/or an ultrasound scan.

Initially, the clinics will operate at Nene Park and will see patients from across Northamptonshire after being referred to the service from their GP.

Breast pain is very common in women of all ages and can have several causes, and on its own is not usually a sign of breast cancer. Having breast pain doesn’t increase the risk of breast cancer.

According to the East Midlands Cancer Alliance, around 15% - 20% of patients referred on a two-week-wait cancer pathway are solely for breast pain with no other symptoms. Therefore, the two hospitals, which form the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group, decided to develop the Northamptonshire Breast Pain clinic to support to provide an alternative service.

Patients at the clinic will be seen by either a breast surgeon or an advanced nurse practitioner and services will include:

  • Reassurance: the patient is reassured that breast pain alone is not a symptom associated with cancer
  • Examination: the patient is examined to confirm the patient’s own findings that there is no clinical abnormality such as a lump or other cancer-related symptoms
  • Risk assessment: the patient receives a risk assessment based on their family history
  • Breast pain management: the patient is given advice how to manage breast pain

Patients across the county can be referred to the Northamptonshire Breast Pain Clinic through their GP.

Posted on Tuesday 30th August 2022
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