Frequently asked questions

I have symptoms, what do I do?

Common breast symptoms are:

  • Pain/tenderness
  • A lump in the breast
  • A lump under the arm
  • A change in the shape of the breast


Initially you should see your GP to discuss any breast symptoms that persist, particularly if you notice a lump in the breast or under the arm.


If you have had breast cancer diagnosed within the last five years, you can contact your specialist breast care nurse for advice.

I have a family history of breast cancer, what do I do?

One in seven women will develop breast cancer. Therefore many women and men will have a family member diagnosed with breast cancer on their mother's or father's side. In most cases this will not increase the risk of other family members developing breast cancer.


If I am worried what should I do?

Many women can be assessed by their GP. However, your GP may refer you to the specialist family history clinic at the hospital.

Once a referral is received you will be sent a questionnaire to fill in about your family members who have been diagnosed with all types of cancer. Please fill this in with as much detail as possible and return it in the envelope provided (however please do not worry if you don’t know all the details).

Do I need to come to the breast clinic?

Many women can be fully assessed by their GP and you do not always need to be assessed in a specialist breast clinic. However, your GP may refer you to the breast clinic at the hospital to be seen.

We run a specialised clinic for new patients at the Nottingham Breast Institute. Please see the new referral clinic section.

How long will I have to wait for my appointment?

Waiting for an appointment is always a worrying time. You should be offered an appointment with a specialist within two weeks of your GP referring you.

How can I help the breast team?

There are two breast charitable funds held at Nottingham University Hospitals. One is used to improve facilities for patients and staff and the other is to support research within Nottingham.

If you would like to make a donation to the Breast Institute, there are donation boxes located on either side of the main reception.

Alternatively, for further information or to make a donation please email:

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