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. Unfortunately, we do not provide clinical or pastoral support or advice or information on treatment.

We have provided a list of organisations below that 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 treatment will be successful.

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:

Information on Mammography Screening

Breast Cancer UK supports the NHS breast screening programme for early detection of breast cancer, whilst acknowledging there are benefits and harms associated with the programme.

A woman’s decision to participate in the screening programme is voluntary. We encourage women to read about the potential benefits and harms of the programme and discuss individual options with their GPs.

The main benefits of the programme are early detection of breast cancer and reduced risk of breast cancer mortality.

One of the most significant harms of the programme is overdiagnosis – finding cases of breast cancer that will never cause symptoms.

We believe the NHS should provide women who participate in the programme with their breast density measurements and general information about breast density and how it affects breast cancer risk.

Please read our full position on the NHS breast screening programme.

Other support organisations

Breast Cancer Now

Breast Cancer Now 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.

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)
Email: [email protected]

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.


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
Email: [email protected]

The Daisy Network

The Daisy Network provides help, support and information for women who have had early menopause.

PO Box 71432, London SW6 9HJ

Email: [email protected]

Cancer Research UK

CRUK provides general information and advice on cancer and funds research into the disease.

Phone: 0300 123 1022
email: [email protected]

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.


Chip in to help prevent breast cancer in future generations

Now more than ever, we need your help. Together we can help lower people’s risk of developing breast cancer. If you’ve found the information on our website helpful, then please consider making a donation today. Thank you.