Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and the leading cause of death in women aged under 65, despite an 80% five-year survival rate post treatment.

The current clinical pathway at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for patients showing symptoms of breast cancer is well regarded both in terms of outcomes and experience. It involves a multidisciplinary team of specialist nurses, breast imagers, pathologists and surgeons. There are however, aspects of the current service provision that the clinical team believe could improve the pathway even further.

For the majority of patients attending a one-stop breast clinic, patients will receive their results on the day of the clinic. However for some patients with suspicious lesions, a biopsy is performed which the clinic currently cannot support to be analysed on the same day. These patients are either booked for a follow-up appointment, or receive their results through the post within the following week.

To test a new way of running their one-stop breast clinics, the Breast Team ran a five week pilot over 18 November - 16 December 2015. This five week pilot changed the way the clinic is run, to enable results of all tests to be processed in parallel to the clinic. This allowed the breast team to test the feasibility of enabling all patients to be told the results of any tests on the same day.

TOHETI is working with the clinical, radiology and pathology teams to measure and evaluate the proposed new way of working:

  • Collect and analyse data to understand processes involved in the pilot clinic.
  • Patient experience measured through questionnaires, to assess if the new way of working helps to ease the anxiety of patients with breast cancer symptoms
  • Pilot model to be refined in the new year following analysis of findings
  • Focus groups to be run in the New Year to better understand what patients want.

Breast cancer