On the day of your visit
Remember to bring any previous mammograms. They are extremely important in the interpretation of your present films.
Do not wear cream or talcum powder on your breast area. You may wear non-aerosol deodorant. Please avoid wearing perfume.
It is a good idea to wear a two-piece outfit.
Your visit will probably involve some waiting so you may like to bring something to help occupy your time.
If you experience tender, painful breasts before your period, you may prefer to defer your appointment until after your next period.
When will I receive my results?
Patients will receive results of their breast screen on the same day as their appointment. Patients having a diagnostic assessment will receive provisional results in person on the same day as their consultation.
Who will I see?
During your visit you may see several different members of our multidisciplinary team, including a breast physician, radiographer, sonographer, breast care nurse and receptionist.
When you arrive at the clinic, you be asked to complete a consent for imaging and a personal history form. You may consult several different people during your visit. They will all explain the processes and answer your questions. However, you will receive your results only from the clinic doctor towards the end of your visit. Most women will be called initially by a radiographer for their mammogram, but some will have their consultation with a breast care nurse or breast physician before any imaging is done.
If you are at elevated risk of breast cancer or have a breast symptom, you will have a consultation with a doctor, who will:
- Take a detailed history of your symptoms
- Examine your breasts
- Answer your questions about the investigations
- Answer your questions about breast disease in general
- Advise you on the investigations you need
You may need an ultrasound scan. This is an examination that is complementary to mammography. If appropriate, some women will have an ultrasound instead of a mammography. You may also see a breast care nurse, who assists the doctor to provide you with information and answer your questions.
The multi-disciplinary team of a breast physician, radiologist, radiographer/ sonographer and breast care nurse will then review your history, clinical findings and investigations. They will formulate a diagnosis and recommend continuing management. A breast physician will then give you your results and answer your questions. A detailed letter will be sent to your referring doctor.
How long will it take?
This is difficult to predict, because we do not always know in advance how many women will need further investigations. Our time sequences are complex and women may experience some waiting. We always try to minimise your waiting time. The total time varies from 1.5 hours to 4 hours.
Sometimes a core biopsy test is required. Occasionally, we may not be able to do a core biopsy on the day of your original visits, and you may need to return on a different day.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies, depending on the procedures and consultations performed. Please contact the clinic for details of current costs and out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare rebates for all procedures are processed by the Breast Clinic at the time of your appointment.
What if surgery is recommended?
If surgery is recommended, the clinic doctor will discuss the situation with you and answer your questions, before you leave the clinic. The clinic will contact your own doctor, who will discuss further treatment with you.