Breast Cancer Treatment

History of Breast Surgery


In recent years there have been enormous advances in the treatment of breast cancer, however, few people appreciate that surgery remains the foundation of treatment and is responsible for curing many people. Breast cancer surgery has changed so that complete removal of tumours can now be achieved, as well as a good cosmetic result, allowing patients to lead normal and fulfilling lives.

The Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) works to improve surgery and standards of care for people with breast cancer. Along with the other specialist surgical societies, we have promoted specialisation of UK surgeons to ensure that patients see surgeons with a special interest and training in breast surgery. The ABS will continue to promote early diagnosis and develop better treatment and guidelines to ensure high quality care for all in the UK.

Whilst we are happy to provide information about the ABS and its role, we are unable to provide recommendations of individual surgeons to members of the public. If you have any concerns about symptoms you may be experiencing you should contact your GP.

Below you will find information, links to guidelines for patients and links to support organisations.

Recommendations for patients following the conviction of Ian Paterson 


Mr Ian Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding at Nottingham Crown Court on 28th April and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on 31st May 2017. The Association of Breast Surgery would like to express its sympathy to the patients who have suffered as a result of Mr Paterson’s actions.

Although Mr Paterson has never been a member of the Association of Breast Surgery, the organisation views this incident very seriously. We would like to reassure patients that this incident reflects the actions of an individual surgeon working outside acceptable standards of care and does not represent the current standard of breast care in the UK. You can read the ABS' recommendations for patients here.

Breast Reconstruction

Delivering real choice: The future of breast reconstruction in England

“Breast reconstruction, for those who choose it, is a core component of a patient’s recovery, either from breast cancer or from risk-reducing surgery.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive Breast Cancer Now

Breast Cancer Now’s report "Delivering real choice: The future of breast reconstruction in England" contains recommendations to facilitate access to breast reconstruction


Oncoplastic breast reconstruction: Information for patients

This information for patients has been produced with Breast Cancer Care to complement the Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction: Guidelines for Best Practice. They aim to ensure that all breast cancer patients are well informed about oncoplastic breast reconstruction and set out what all breast cancer patients can expect from their breast reconstruction team.


Information on the use of biological tissue matrices in breast implant reconstruction

Lifecell have produced information about the use of biological tissue matrices in breast implant reconstruction to provide professional and patient advocacy groups with relevant information for patient support materials. 

Pregnancy and Breast Cancer


The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists produced this information about pregnancy and breast cancer for patients in 2014. They will be reviewing this guidance in 2017 and an updated version will be available in due course.

Patients may find the following websites of use:

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist UK-wide charity providing support for women, men, family and friends affected by breast cancer.

We’ve been caring for them, supporting them, and campaigning on their behalf since 1973. Today, we continue to offer a unique range of support including reliable information, one-to-one support over the phone and online from nurses and people who’ve been there. We also offer local group support across the UK.

From the moment someone notices something isn’t right, through to their treatment and beyond, we’re there to help people affected by breast cancer feel more in control.

Visit or call us on 0808 800 6000.


Breast Cancer Haven

Breast Cancer Haven is a charity that supports anyone affected by breast cancer, either from its three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford, over the telephone or via the website. A "Haven at Home" DVD and audio CD is also available. All the services are free of charge.

The charity provides a wide range of therapies and approaches to help people cope with the physical and emotional effects of breast cancer and its treatment. Specialist cancer nurses and experts in emotional support, complementary therapies, nutrition, exercise and stress-reduction, provide a tailor-made programme of supportive care to help people feel better

People can access the service before, during or after medical treatment for cancer and help is also available to family members and friends.

For more information please call 020 7384 0099 or view our website

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is a research focused charity, which undertakes pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Over the past 40 years survival has doubled thanks to the progress research has made.

Their website has information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, research and clinical trials as well as resources and support.  

Flat Friends UK

Flat Friends UK is a registered charity dedicated to supporting women who have had mastectomy surgery without breast reconstruction, including those who may face such decisions now or in the future, due to either a breast cancer diagnosis or preventative surgery. We see living breast free as a positive choice. We have a website, public Facebook page and a closed chat group for women to connect and discuss the issues that affect them.

Contact us via email on or via

Independent Cancer Patients' Voice

Independent Cancer Patients' Voice (ICPV) is a patient advocate group independent of established UK cancer charities and aware of the value of medical research to both public health and to the national economy.

Our aim is to improve existing treatments for every cancer patient and develop new treatments by bringing the patients’ voice into clinical research.

We do this by:

  • Educating, supporting and mentoring patients so that they can have an equal voice with clinicians and researchers and

  • Bringing the patients’ voice to clinicians and researchers – i.e. by being patient advocates in clinical research so that this research takes into account the patients’ (and carers, relatives etc) viewpoint to improve outcomes (cancer mortality, morbidity, quality of life) for all people affected by cancer (patients, relatives, carers).

To get in touch, please visit the ICPV website


When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. At Macmillan, we know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything and we’re here to support you through it. From help with money worries and advice about work, to someone who’ll listen if you just want to talk, we’ll be there. We’ll help you make the choices you need to take back control, so you can start to feel like yourself again. No one should face cancer alone.

For support, information or if you just want to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit