The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trusts Breast Unit provides comprehensive breast care to patients from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. More than 12,000 patients are seen in the outpatient department with almost 500 cancers diagnosed and treated each year.
It is the largest unit in the South West and one of the only fully Oncoplastic Breast Units in the country with 4 Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeons delivering the best possible surgical, aesthetic and oncological outcomes.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer Service Pledge RCHT
Patients are either directly referred by their GPs for diagnosis and treatment on 2-week urgent referral protocol or through the Cornwall NHS Breast Screening Programme.
All patients are seen, assessed and treated within local and national NHS targets.
The Mermaid Centre also provides a multidisciplinary service for assessment and surveillance of patients with a family history that maybe at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
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Multidisciplinary Team Approach
The unit's goal is to deliver the latest and highest standard of care to all our patients and to remain at the forefront of diagnosis, treatment, research and training in breast disease; exploring new frontiers in preventing, diagnosing and treating breast cancer.
The Multidisciplinary Breast Team includes:
Specialist Radiographers & Radiologists
Specialist Breast Care Nurses
Clinical & Medical Oncologists (The Sunrise Centre)
The Specialist Breast Anaesthetic Team
The Specialist Breast Theatre Team
Specialist Breast Ward Nurses & Out-patient Clinic Nurses
The Breast Admin & Secretarial Team (Mermaid Centre & RCHT)
Patients are treated in an evidence-based, multidisciplinary clinical setting following local network and nationally agreed guidelines.
The unit actively supports and encourages patients to participate in nationally and internationally run trials and provides a major commitment to research.
The Mermaid Centre
All breast clinic and diagnostic work is carried out at The Mermaid Centre. The Mermaid Centre opened in 1998 following a hugely successful collaborative project between The Mermaid Charity Appeal, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals and the local NHS & Strategic Health Authority.
It is a purpose built diagnostic facility on the campus of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Treliske Site Truro.
The Mermaid is home to the Cornwall Breast Screening Programme (NHS BSP) and the Oncoplastic Breast Unit.
It was one of the first units in the UK to have a fully digitalised mammography screening service and was judged the best screening programme in the region in 2008 and among the best in the UK by the South West Screening Quality Assurance team.
In October 2011, the Mermaid Centre was one of the first breast units in the country to be endorsed by Breakthrough Breast Cancer for their Service Pledge commitment to the patients of Cornwall
St Michaels Hospital
Almost all breast surgery is performed at St. Michael hospital, Hayle. The hospital is the home for the specialist Oncoplastic Breast Unit as well as the regional specialist orthopaedic centre.
It has 4 laminar flow operating theatres, and since opening in 2009 one of the two new state of the art theatres has been dedicated exclusively for breast surgery.
St Michael's ward is a bright, clean and peaceful, female only ward for breast surgical patients with a dedicated and highly specialised nursing team, skilled in caring for the specific needs of women undergoing Oncoplastic breast surgery.
Oncoplastic Breast Surgery
Oncoplastic Breast Surgery is the new gold standard in the modern surgical treatment of the breast.
The term Oncoplastic comes from the Greek word 'onco' (cancer) and 'plastic' (to mould) and brings together the most effective cancer treatment with the best possible cosmetic outcome.
Oncoplastic Breast Surgeons are qualified to provide expertise in cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
They are also able to provide a full Oncoplastic surgical repertoire that includes therapeutic, reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery when indicated.