As a fully trained breast cancer specialist, Dr Kirby offers a comprehensive service in assessment and management of breast cancer. The recent trend is for conservation of the remaining breast tissue as much as is possible, depending on the extent of the disease process at the outset. This would, of course, take into account the patient’s preferences for particular options in treatment that are available. The role of added radiotherapy is essential to conservation, and Dr Kirby’s involvement with regular multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss optimal treatments tailored for every patient, is a given.

The last decade has seen the greater use of a procedure called “sentinel node biopsy” used for staging to assess for any possible local spread of an early breast cancer. Only if this test is positive, would it then be necessary for definitive treatment, with clearance of all node tissue from the axilla (armpit). This prevents unnecessary surgery that could lead to long term swelling of the arm (lymphoedema), and its inherent complications.

Each patient usually has their own characteristics of the disease, upon which various options for treatment are offered. Recommendations for treatment are then made individually based on all the specific test results and findings.