Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre

Breast Cancer

Breast CancerIntroduction

Beaumont RCSI cancer centre is one of the eight designated cancer centres in Ireland. Our centre provides a high quality symptomatic and familial risk service.

We provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our care with rapid access clinics, we have access to adjuvant treatments on site including St. Luke’s radiation centre.

Beaumont breast centre prides itself on multi-disciplinary team involvement in the diagnosis, staging and treatment stages of breast cancers with a surveillance service for breast cancer patients.

Our cancer centre brings together consultant specialists in:

  • Breast surgery
  • Breast reconstruction plastic surgery
  • Radiology
  • Pathology
  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Clinical nurse specialists

Additional key members of the multi-disciplinary team include:

  • Social workers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Lymphoedema specialists
  • Cancer data managers
  • Cancer clinical trials
  • Administrative staff
  • Our Team

    Beaumont Breast Centre

    Telephone: (01) 809 3932

    Surgeons

    Mr. Michael Allen
    Consultant Breast Surgeon
    IMC No. 000003
    Public Secretary: (01) 797 4724
    Private Secretary: (01) 645 9620

    Professor Arnold Hill
    Consultant Breast Surgeon
    IMC No. 012348
    Public Secretary: (01) 809 3093
    Private Secretary: (01) 809 3460

    Professor Colm Power
    Consultant Breast Surgeon
    IMC No. 19545
    Public Secretary: (01) 797 4783
    Private Secretary: (087) 233 8235

    Family Risk Clinic

    Dr. Reem Salman
    Consultant in Family History
    IMC No.020407
    Telephone: (01) 809 2867

    Breast Care Nurse Specialists

    Telephone: (01) 809 3183 or (01) 797 4806

    Breast Radiology Department

    During peak clinic times the phone maybe on voicemail but all calls are checked by administration staff and returned.
    Telephone: (01) 8092279

    Physiotherapy

    Telephone: (01) 809 2526
    Lymphodaema Specialist: (01) 809 2526

    Social Work

    Telephone: (01) 809 3290

    Beaumont Hospital Main Switch

    Telephone: (01) 809 3000

    Beaumont Private Clinc

    Telephone: (01) 837 5400

  • Referrals

    GP Referrals
    All referrals must be sent to our team via Healthlink on ‘National Symptomatic Breast Disease Clinic Referral Form’. Referrals are accepted and prioritised based on the National GP Breast Referral Guideline.

    Family Risk Clinic Referrals
    Referrals into Beaumont Hospital’s family risk clinic must be from a GP or hospital consultant. On receiving the referral letter, a standardised questionnaire will be sent to the patient which they complete at home. Once the patient returns the questionnaire by post to Beaumont Hospital, they will be offered an appointment to attend our family risk clinic.

  • Breast Reconstruction

    Consultant Plastic Surgeons
    Mr. Nadeem Ajmal
    IMC No. 018658
    Public Secretary: (01) 809 3309
    Private Secretary: (01) 645 9621

    Mr. Jamie Martin Smith
    IMC No. 329873
    Public Secretary: (01) 809 2282
    Private Secretary: (01) 857 1384

    Breast Reconstruction is an integral part of breast cancer treatment. Here in Beaumont Cancer Centre we have a strong and long standing breast reconstruction service. The centre excels in providing the most comprehensive breast reconstruction service from complex microsurgical reconstruction to implant based surgery depending upon patient requirements.

    Beaumont  was the first breast cancer centre to provide a regular service of microsurgical reconstruction using free DIEP flap. It is also a tertiary referral centre for complex cases from other breast cancer centres.

    Our breast reconstruction service is provided by a team of plastic surgeons along with their breast surgery colleagues. Patients requiring immediate reconstruction (at time of mastectomy) are discussed by the multi disciplinary team.  The most appropriate form of reconstruction is recommended to the patient who makes the final decision. Delayed breast reconstruction is also facilitated.

    For further information please see the Breast reconstruction leaflet on the Irish Cancer Society web page.

  • Patient Information Leaflets
  • Useful Links
  • Family Risk Assessment Clinic

    What is familial breast cancer?

    Familial breast cancer is cancer that occurs more frequently within a family than would be expected in the general population. We can’t always say what causes breast cancer, but the increased risk of breast cancer for those with a family history of the disease might be caused by inherited factors (genes) or a combination of inherited, lifestyle and environmental factors.

    What is the family risk assessment clinic?

    Our family risk clinic is a clinic run by a consultant, clinical lecturer and clinical nurse specialist. Beaumont family risk service provides care to asymptomatic individuals at higher risk of developing breast cancer including those known to carry one of the breast cancer genes (BRCA1, BRCA2). The care of patient through the family risk clinic is based on international research and evidence. The idea is to ensure that all patients attending receive the same standard of care based on their risk profile. At the family risk clinic patients are given the opportunity to discuss their family history of breast cancer which forms the basis of a risk assessment. Using a specialist computer programme patients are divided into low, medium and high risk groups. There are different recommendations for each group. Each attendee is informed about what the risk might mean for them and support is offered to them in determining the best way to manage that risk, by screening, risk-reducing drugs , risk-reducing surgery, breast awareness and life style changes.

    The national guidelines recommend that for a patient to be seen in a family risk clinic they should have a 1st degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

  • Breast care nurse specialists

    The role of the breast care nurse involves specialist nursing care and coordination of the patient’s care pathway, delivered with sensitivity and compassion. Our breast care nurses are the first point of contact for patients throughout their cancer journey and provide support and education to all patients and their families.

    A breast care nurse specialist is available at all breast clinics. Your breast care nurse specialist will:

    • Explain your individual diagnosis, treatment plan and care pathway
    • Provide education and support about breast reconstruction options
    • Provide assistance with obtaining breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras
    • Offer micro-pigmentation service following nipple reconstruction
    • Provide assistance with accessing support services available in the hospital
    • Assist with all aspects of wound care and drain management
    • Coordination of adjuvant treatments

    Ask at the clinic if you would like to speak to a breast care nurse or you can contact them on the following phone numbers: (01) 809 3183 & (01) 797 4806 , note these phones run on a message service, leave a message and the breast care nurse will return your call.

    Irish Cancer Society’s “Understanding Cancer of the Breast booklet”

  • Breast Imaging Unit / Mammography Unit

    The Breast Imaging Unit/ Mammography comprises of three state of the art mammography rooms and two breast ultrasound rooms with access to an MRI scanner.

    The staff affiliated to the breast imaging unit include 4 consultants specialising in breast imaging:

    • Dr Neasa Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
    • Dr Jennifer Kerr
    • Dr Niamh Hambly
    • Dr Deirdre Duke

    A team of 9 radiographers are headed by our clinical specialist radiographer; Siobhan Stanbrook.3 healthcare assistants and 2 administration staff complete the team.

    Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 4.30 pm.

    The following examinations and procedures are available:

    • Mammogram
    • Breast Ultrasound
    • Image Guided Core Biopsies/ Aspirations
    • Breast MRI

    Contact Details:
    Telephone: (01) 8092279

  • Surgery

    Consultant Breast Surgeons

    • Mr Michael Allen
    • Prof. Arnold Hill
    • Prof. Colm Power

    There are three highly experienced Breast Surgeons in Beaumont Hospital who perform a wide range of surgical techniques to treat breast cancer. Every patient undergoing surgery in the Beaumont Breast Centre has their procedure tailored to the patient’s individual needs.

    Breast conserving techniques, also known as a lumpectomy, is performed where possible. Beaumont Breast Centre offers intra-operative radiation to patients who meet strict criteria, reducing the need for external beam radiation in some circumstances. Otherwise all patients who have a lumpectomy will be referred to our radiation oncologycolleagues for treatment following surgery.

    For some patients a mastectomy is the most appropriate surgical option. Breast reconstruction is offered to patients undergoing a mastectomy. A range of reconstruction techniques are offered. These include implant based reconstruction and flap based reconstruction such as DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap, omental flap reconstruction and LD (latissimus dorsi) flap reconstruction. Some of these were performed for the first time in Ireland by our team in Beaumont.

    The breast surgical department are always striving to expand our understanding of breast cancer and improve the treatment options available. As a result there is a robust clinical and laboratory based research section which meets regularly.

  • Physiotherapy

    Patients undergoing breast cancer surgery in Beaumont Hospital are seen by a physiotherapist. Pre-operatively they will have a consultation either in person or on the phone. Post-operatively they will be visited on the ward. Due to COVID restrictions physiotherapists are not routinely seeing patients on the day of surgery any more.

    Only patients who had an axillary node clearance or a breast reconstruction are followed up as outpatients, unless specifically referred by the breast surgery team.

    The following procedures do not routinely require physiotherapy but a referral can be made by the surgical team if required:

    • Wide local excisions / partial mastectomies
    • Removal of breast implant
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsies in isolation
  • Social Work Supports

    Medical Social Work Support

    People living with breast cancer or a new diagnosis of cancer can be referred to the Medical Social Work Service. A diagnosis of breast cancer can result in major life adjustments for both you and your family. In these circumstances, Medical Social Workers can assist you to identify solutions that will help you and your family deal with your diagnosis and any problems that may arise as a result. We provide a range of services to breast care patients.

    Counselling & Emotional Support

    A cancer diagnosis not only affects physical health, but can significantly affect the emotional health and well-being of patients and families. A variety of natural emotions can be experienced following a cancer diagnosis such as anxiety, fear, anger and sadness, however if you are struggling to cope emotionally, you may benefit from talking to a Medical Social Worker. A Medical Social Worker can help you and/or your family explore the emotional impact of your cancer diagnosis.

    The Medical Social Worker can also provide you with information on how to talk to your children about your illness.

    At times children of parents who are living with a cancer diagnosis, may experience greater stress levels and high anxiety when adjusting to their parent’s illness and may benefit from attending the CLIMB Programme. The CLIMB programme it is a programme for children who are experiencing the impact of a parent or other significant person in their life living with a cancer diagnosis.

    CLIMB aims to help your child:

    • To understand a cancer diagnosis by providing information on cancer
    • To learn how to express his or her feelings and emotions
    • To learn how to cope with these feelings
    • To feel part of a social group by making friendships with other children sharing a similar experience
    • To cope with the dramatic changes they are witnessing and experiencing in the home

    Advocacy & Information

    A Medical Social Worker can advocate on your behalf with outside agencies and community services where appropriate. Medical Social Workers can also provide some guidance regarding welfare queries and financial difficulties. Further information and advice surrounding your social welfare entitlements can be found on the Citizens Information website or by contacting your local Social Welfare Office.

    Care Planning

    At times patients may require hospitalisation throughout the course of their cancer journey, which may result in them requiring extra and/or formal support at home such as home care and Meals on Wheels. Where appropiate a Medical Social Worker can assist by applying for support services on your behalf. Please note if you wish to be assessed for home supports as an outpatient, you will need to contact your local health centre/ Public Health Nurse or your GP.

  • Lymphoedema

    What is the lymphatic system?

    Your lymphatic system plays a significant role in immune function and circulation. It consists of lymph vessels meeting up with lymph nodes located in your neck, armpits, and groin. As the lymph vessels move fluid out of the tissues, waste products, bacteria, dead cells, and large protein molecules are collected. The waste products are carried to the lymph nodes to be broken down and eliminated, while the protein rich fluid is transported back to the heart to re-join circulation.

    What is Lymphoedema?

    When the lymph vessels are unable to transport lymph fluid back into circulation it accumulates, resulting in chronic swelling. If left untreated it may result in hardening skin tissue. This build-up of protein-rich lymph fluid is known as lymphedema. Once this condition occurs, the swelling may increase if an effective treatment program is not initiated.

    Secondary Lymphedema is a result of damage to the lymphatic system. Surgical procedures such as mastectomies, lumpectomies with radiation and/or removal of lymph nodes are the most common causes. Secondary lymphedema occurs most commonly in the arms but may also develop in the legs. Other causes may include a traumatic injury, infection, or severe chronic venous insufficiency.

    It is hard to predict who will and will not develop lymphoedema. Sometimes our bodies find ways to compensate for the missing nodes, and do not develop lymphoedema for months or years after treatment. Some people do not develop lymphoedema at all. As our bodies are unable to regenerate lymph nodes once they have been damaged by surgery or radiation there is a lifelong risk of developing lymphoedema.

    Signs and symptoms

    The first obvious sign of lymphedema is swelling characterized by “pitting.” This is recognizable when the skin is pressed for a few seconds and the indentation does not immediately disappear.

    Other symptoms may include:

    • Discomfort or heaviness in the affected area
    • Changes in the texture of the skin
    • Jewellery and clothing feel tighter.
    • Veins or tendons in the hand are harder to see, and/or the knuckles look less pronounced

    Lymphoedema can be managed with good skincare, use of compression garments, exercise, and lymphatic massage. If you are concerned about lymphoedema please discuss it with your doctor, who may refer you for an assessment with a Lymphoedema Therapist.

    A lymphoedema service is available to all patients of Beaumont Hospital who have been treated in Beaumont Hospital for cancer via a referral from their hospital doctor.

  • Medical Oncology

    Consultant Medical Oncologists

    • Professor Bryan Hennessy
    • Dr. Patrick Morris

    The Medical Oncology service treat patients across the RCSI Hospital Group with systemic anticancer therapy. Following discussion at a Multi-Disciplinary meeting, patients with early stage cancer are referred to one of the four Consultant Medical Oncologists. Of these, Dr. Patrick Morris and Professor Bryan Hennessy have a subspecialty interest in breast cancer and both have sessional commitments to Drogheda.

    Systemic anticancer therapy is given to increase the chance of cure following definitive loco-regional treatment and to prolong life and minimise the symptoms of advanced cancer. Although treatment is generally coordinated from Beaumont Hospital (as the designated cancer centre), many options can be delivered at a more convenient Oncology Day Ward across the region, including the private sector.

    Increasingly, systemic therapy is becoming personalised to individual tumour biology and there is a greater use of oral, targeted therapies. A major focus of the Medical Oncology Service is participation in Clinical Trials, which increase our understanding of cancer biology and offer patients early access to potentially new and better therapies for patients.

    If you would like to learn more about Chemotherapy please click here.

  • Radiotherapy

    Consultant Radiation Oncologists with special interest in breast

    • Professor Clare Faul
    • Dr. Orla McArdle

    The St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network at Beaumont provides a comprehensive breast cancer radiation service to the Beaumont breast cancer service. Since the centre first opened in 2011 the emphasis has been on the delivery of modern optimum quality radiation therapy. All patients are discussed at a weekly breast multidisciplinary meeting which is attended by Professor Clare Faul and Dr Orla McArdle consultant radiation oncologists with a subspecialist interest in breast cancer management.

    Patients have access to a wide range of radiation techniques. These include three dimensional fractionated radiation therapy to the breast and lymph node regions, intensity modulated radiation therapy for subgroups of patients with more complex breast cancer including treatment of the internal mammary chain nodes. Deep Inspiration Breath Hold Radiotherapy which entails external beam radiotherapy that is delivered while the breath is held in comfortable inspiration. The DIBH technique allows radiation to the breast while reducing significantly any radiation delivered to the heart.

    A novel radiation technique, the first in Ireland, (Intraoperative radiation therapy) was introduced to Beaumont hospital in 2016 by Dr Orla McArdle in conjunction with Professor A Hill and Mr C Power. The “intrabeam” device allows well selected breast cancer patients to be treated in one day with radiation directly applied to the surgical cavity at the time of surgery avoiding the need for radiation over a three to 6 week schedule. Decreasing overall treatment time has several advantages over fractionated radiation therapy including avoidance of delay in radiation therapy, and reduction of radiation dose to uninvolved portions of breast tissue and adjacent organs.

    The radiation oncology service is actively involved with a number of ongoing research trials in Breast cancer and both Dr McArdle and Professor Faul are active members of the Cancer Trial Ireland Research group. Professor Faul is a board member of the St Luke’s Institute for Cancer Research and adviser to the National Cancer Control Programme. Both Dr McArdle and Professor Faul were members of the team that wrote the current national guidelines for radiation oncology fror Breast cancer NCCP.

    Refer to www.stlukesnetwork.ie for further information.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    I feel something wrong/ found a lump in my breast, what should I do?

    Make an appointment with your GP at your earliest convenience. Your GP can refer you to the breast centre via a dedicated Healthlink referral form if necessary. Once a referral has been received by the breast centre, it will be triaged by a breast nurse specialist according to local and national guidelines. You will be contacted with an appointment either by text, phone or letter.

     

    I am concerned about my family history of breast cancer. What do I do?

    If you are concerned that you have a family history of breast cancer you should ask your GP to refer you to the Family Risk Breast Clinic for formal assessment. Using national/ international guidelines your risk level will be assessed and discussed with you. A letter will be given to each patient advising them if screening investigations will be necessary.

    What is a mammogram and why do I need it?

    A mammogram is a non-invasive special type of low dose x-ray of the breast used to create detailed images of the breast. Mammography plays a major role in the early detection of breast cancer, which increases the chances of successful treatment and survival. All our mammography radiographers are female. For the test you will be asked to undress to the waist. The radiographer will then position your breast on a plastic plate. By lowering a second plate compression is applied. This may feel a little uncomfortable but it is generally not painful. Images are taken of each breast from different directions.

    What is a breast ultrasound?

    Ultrasound is an imaging exam that uses soundwaves to produce detailed images of the breast. For the test you will be asked to undress to the waist. The doctor (radiologist) performing the test will spread some gel on your skin and press a small hand held sensor firmly against your breast to obtain images. During the test the doctor will ask you about your breast problem and answer any questions you may have at that time. Breast ultrasounds are painless, fast and easy.

    I’ve been called back for additional imaging. What does this mean?

    When the doctor (radiologist) reviews your mammography images they may decide that you need further tests. It is quite common for people to be recalled for further tests and it does not necessarily mean there is something suspicious.

    What is a biopsy?

    A biopsy is used to take a sample of tissue from a lump or area within the breast. It is used to help determine whether this lump or area is benign or malignant. Having a biopsy does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. If a biopsy is required, the procedure will be explained fully by the doctor (radiologist) beforehand.

    What is an aspiration?

    An aspiration is when fluid is drained via a fine needle. If this procedure is required, it will be explained fully by the doctor (radiologist) beforehand.

    I’ve had my breast imaging tests, how do I get my results?

    Your mammogram will be reviewed by a radiologist and compared to previous breast imaging when available. The report/ results will be sent to the doctor who requested the test.

    If you have an ultrasound with/ without a mammogram you will be given a verbal report by the doctor (radiologist) on the day. The official written report will be sent to the doctor who referred you. These results will be available to the relevant doctor within 10 working days.

    What if my appointment doesn’t suit me?

    If your appointment date or time doesn’t suit you, please contact the number on the letter as soon as possible and the administration staff will try to accommodate you as best as possible. To help we will ask you to state your MRN number (this is located in the top right corner of your letter)

    How should I prepare for my visit?

    You do NOT need to fast, please eat and drink if you want. If you are attending for mammography do not apply talcum powder, cream or deodorant to your breasts or armpits on the day of your appointment as this interferes with the accuracy of mammography. You will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire so if you use reading glasses please bring them with you. Depending on the clinic you are booked into you may be in the hospital for some time so something to pass the time is advisable. If you have diabetes please ensure that you have sufficient snacks/ insulin.

  • Directions to Beaumont Breast Centre

    Click the link below for directions to Beaumont Breast Centre

    beaumont breast care map (1)

Contact Details