There are several ways of treating breast cancer. Each person is different and your surgery and / or treatment will be tailored to your needs and discussed fully with you before proceeding. Throughout your care, procedures, surgery and treatments will not be carried out without your consent.

Please click on one of the links below for more information on surgery / treatment options:


Most primary breast cancers will be treated with surgery to remove the tumour. Each person is different and surgery will be tailored to each patient's needs.


There are 3 common types of breast cancer surgery:

Surgery may also involve the testing of or removal of lymph nodes from the armpit. Read more information on lymph node surgery.


Patients having surgery will be given an appointment to attend the Pre-Assessment Clinic before their operation. At the appointment the pre-assessment nursing staff will perform a pre-operative assessment which will involve taking a full medical/nursing and social history. This appointment is to ensure patients are fit and it is safe for them to have surgery.

The Anaesthetist will also talk to patients at the pre-assessment clinic. They will ask about general health and any previous experiences with anaesthetics including side effects such as sickness.

In some cases patients are asked to have an anaesthetic assessment, this may require an overnight stay.

A member of staff will explain the operation, potential complications and mark where the lump is on the skin of  the patient's breast. The patient will also be asked to sign a consent form before surgery. This form will state what operation is planned. It is important that patients read and understand this form before signing it.

Day of Surgery

A Breast Care Nurse Specialist will visit each patient whilst they are in hospital and will discuss the planned surgery and answer any questions patients they may have and provide ongoing support.

A nurse will prepare each patient for theatre. Patients will be asked to remove jewellery (except wedding ring), and remove dentures, contact lenses etc.


No medical treatment can be given without patient consent.  Read more about the consent process.

Patients may have one treatment type or in some cases may have a combined cancer treatment. Please click the links at the top of the page for further details on cancer treatments.