"My experience breast diagnosis could not have been..."
About: Wycombe Hospital Wycombe Hospital High Wycombe HP11 2TT
Posted by Margaret Macdonald
Being called in for suspicious marks on a routine breast cancer screen is a frightening prospect. Suddenly you go from healthy to a possible future of surgery, chemo, radio therapy and maybe reduced survival. But my experience at High Wycombe hospital breast cancer screening unit was absolutely outstanding. For a start the unit is modern & fresh and also calm and relaxing. I was seen promptly and caringly for the follow-up breast screen. The nurse invited me to see what had showed up on mammogram to cause concern and explained what the process would be. Patiently, they remained very thorough although it involved a lot of pulling about, they were apologetic but I was glad for the thoroughness. The consultant looking at the results was very thorough and consulted colleagues. The doctor explained their thinking and that a biopsy would be required at a separate appointment. Another nurse spent time with me explaining the process and booking me in. The biopsy itself was not pleasant and the location of the suspect marks made it prolonged. But the combination of extreme thoroughness with total consideration and kindness to me was amazingly reassuring. I felt really cared about. The consultant and three nurses made sure it was done properly but that I was ok - checking all the time. Again they explained the issues and procedure and even showed me the little bottles, properly labelled with my biopsies to be sent off and looked at under the microscope by pathology. I was due to attend for results a few days later, but the consultant called me at home telling me that the results were totally negative and I had no need to come in. They also informed me that the results would be discussed in the MDT meeting the next day as a Bank Holiday had delayed pathology a little, but they expected no issues to arise. It would be too much to say I was disappointed not to have breast cancer, but if I had tested positive, I would have been full of confidence in my care and treatment ever after. Every day you hear bad things about the NHS, especially about its failings, neglect and incompetence. And Wycombe hospital generally is no luxurious a workplace for anyone. So my gratitude and admiration for the staff doing a difficult job so meticulously but caringly, and under ever increasing scrutiny, is even greater. It has restored my faith in the NHS and staff overall. I only wish I could have recorded all the staff names so I could acknowledge their efforts personally.