Useful links and resources
What to do if you are worried about breast cancer
Breast Cancer UK’s primary focus is the prevention of breast cancer caused by exposures to carcinogenic and other hazardous chemicals in our environment and everyday products. Unfortunately, we do not provide clinical or pastoral support.
We have provided a list of organisations below who do provide these services.
If you are worried about breast cancer or think you may have any symptoms of breast cancer (see below), please visit your doctor. It may be nothing, but the earlier a diagnosis is made, the more chance of treating it successfully.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first that is noticeable is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
Most breast lumps aren't cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by your doctor. You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain isn't usually a symptom of breast cancer but if you’re concerned visit your GP. After examining your breasts, your GP may refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests. These might include a mammogram (breast X-ray), ultrasound scan or biopsy (breast tissue sample).
Source: NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-breast-female/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Other support organisations
Breast Cancer Care
Breast Cancer Care provides breast cancer information and support across the UK. They have specific support for partners and for younger women affected by breast cancer. They have a lot of information about mastectomy wear (including bras and swimming costumes) and also specialise in correctly fitting breast prostheses.
- Helpline: 0808 800 6000
- Text phone: 18001 0808 800 6000
- Mon to Fri: 9.00 am to 4.00 pm; Sat: 9.00 am to 1.00 pm
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.breastcancercare.org.uk
Phone: 0345 077 1893
1–3 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline
The Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline provides support and information to anyone concerned about hereditary breast cancer.
Phone: 01629 813000 (helpline 8.00am-10.00pm)
The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres
Breast Cancer Haven offers free support, information, counselling and complementary therapies to anyone affected by breast cancer. They have drop in centres in London, Hereford, Yorkshire, Wessex, Worcester, West Midlands and Cheltenham. They also offer a programme of care designed to help women with breast cancer feel better and develop a healthier lifestyle. For people who can't get to a Haven centre, they offer the “Haven at Home” multi-media package.
Breast Cancer Haven, Fulham
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 020 7384 0099
Breast Cancer Haven, Hereford
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01432 361061
Breast Cancer Haven, Yorkshire
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 0113 284 7829
Breast Cancer Haven, Wessex
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01329 559 290
Breast Cancer Haven Worcester,
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 01905 677 862
Breast Cancer Haven West Midlands
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 0121 726 9570
Breast Cancer Haven, Maggies, Cheltenham
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 01242 395088
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support. They provide booklets on cancer and treatments, run helplines providing cancer information and benefits advice, and offer Cancer Voices service, enabling those affected by cancer to share their experiences and help shape future cancer services.
Macmillan CancerLine: 0808 808 0000
Textphone: 18001 0808 808 00 00
Mon to Fri: 9.00 am to 8.00 pm; information available in other languages
The Daisy Network
The Daisy Network provides help, support and information for women who have had an early menopause.
PO Box 71432, London SW6 9HJ
Cancer Research UK
CRUK provides general information and advice on cancer, and funds research into the disease.
Phone: 0300 123 1022
Breast Cancer Now
Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity. Its website provides general information and advice on breast cancer.
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. There are likely to be many local support groups and regional centres that can provide help and support, so do ask your local GP or breast clinic for further information.
Information on Mammography Screening
Breast Cancer UK do not offer advice on mammography screening for breast cancer. We believe women should decide whether they participate in the NHS screening programme and that their decision should be based on a full understanding of the potential risks and benefits. We encourage women to read about screening protocols online and discuss individual options with their physicians.
For information about mammography screening please see the following websites:
Public Health England (2013). NHS breast screening helping you decide. http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/Media/SUHTInternet/Services/BreastImagingUnit/NHS-Breast-Screening---helping-you-decide.pdf
The Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer (2012). The Benefits and Harms of Breast Cancer Screening: An Independent Review. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/ibsr-fullreport.pdf
World Health Organisation (2014). WHO position paper on mammography screening. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/137339/1/9789241507936_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1
Løberg, M. et al. (2015). Benefits and harms of mammography screening. Breast Cancer Research 17: 63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415291/pdf/13058_2015_Article_525.pdf
Jacklyn, G. et al. (2016). Meta-analysis of breast cancer mortality benefit and overdiagnosis adjusted for adherence: improving information on the effects of attending screening mammography. British Journal of Cancer 114, 1269–1276. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27124337
Page last updated April 18, 2018