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Focus on Oncology





Name: Chantal Colthorpe

Procedure: Double Mastectomy

Chantal Colthorpe received a breast cancer diagnosis,which was the start of an anxious journey. However,

the latest techniques have proved that there are now more options available for breast cancer survivors in

terms of treatment and breast reconstruction.

Chantal rst discovered a malignant lump in February 2013 and was

diagnosed with cancer. Following this, it became a standard procedure for

her to have her breasts checked; however, her most recent discovery of a

new growth in her left breast triggered the same routine.

Chantal began treatment by seeing Consultant Breast Surgeon, Mr Nicolas

Beechey-Newman, at London Bridge Hospital. Mr Beechey-Newman was

one of the rst surgeons in the UK to perform the latest technique in breast

cancer surgery, called Sentinel Node Biopsy. This technique analyses the rst

in the chain of lymph nodes where the cancer is likely to spread, providing

an indication of the prognosis and thereby establishing the recommended

treatment route without having all the lymph nodes removed.

Despite undergoing two lumpectomy procedures, one in March and

the second in April 2013, the results showed that the cancer was more

widespread than it had appeared on the scans. In the meantime, the biopsy

indicated the cancer cell types found in the breast were oestrogen receptive

positive along with HER2. HER2 is a protein that can affect the rate of cancer

cells spreading. Mr Beechey-Newman advised Chantal the recommended

route would be to undergo a mastectomy to avoid the risk of growth and

any recurrence.

Chantal had time to consider the mastectomy option, as her next step was

for her to undergo eight cycles of chemotherapy followed by a course of

Herceptin. After this, she was referred to Mr Jian Farhadi, Consultant Plastic

Surgeon and specialist in breast reconstruction at London Bridge Hospital.

After careful consideration of the various techniques available in breast

reconstruction following mastectomy, she decided to remove both breasts

to achieve the minimum risk of the cancer reoccurring. Mr Farhadi explained

all the various options available and it was decided the DIEP ap would be

most suitable. The DIEP ap is where blood vessels called Inferior Epigastric

Perforators and the skin and fat connected to them are removed from the

lower abdomen and transferred to the chest to reconstruct a breast after

mastectomy. After leaving some time to recover after chemotherapy, Chantal

underwent the planned surgery in October 2013, which was then followed

by a recommended course of radiotherapy.

Chantal nished her course of radiotherapy at the end of January 2014, but

continues to take Herceptin treatment for HER2, recommended to be taken

over an 18-month period. This physically and emotionally intensive and

draining period of her life was improved by the reassurance and positivity of

her Consultants. She says, “What really helped was when Mr Farhadi thought

it was a good idea to put me in touch with another patient who had been

through the same treatment plan. It helped me to put it all into perspective

and provided me with a sharper vision of normal life after breast cancer.

It brought me focus as well as hope.”

Almost a year after her surgery, Chantal says she believes she made the

right decision to have a double mastectomy and DIEP ap reconstruction.

She is now t, healthy and is back to work in her role as a Business Auditor

for BP. She says, “To be honest, regardless of all the advice, testimonials and

research on the surgery, for me, the outcome was still much better than I

expected. Above all, I wanted my new breasts to feel comfortable, so having

the tissue replaced by another part of my body was the best method. However,

I feel one of the most important decisions I made was to regularly check my

breasts and promptly pursue medical treatment – the earlier the better.”

“To be honest, regardless of all the

advice, testimonials and research on

the surgery, for me, the outcome was

still much better than I expected.”

Focus on Oncology

Mr Beechey-Newman

Consultant Breast Surgeon

Mr Beechey-Newman was

previously Consultant Breast

Surgeon at the Breast Unit at

Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals

between 1998 and 2009. He left

to become the Clinical Director

of the Harley Street Breast Clinic

and to devote more time to

his private patients at London

Bridge Hospital. He specialises

exclusively in breast disorders,

including breast cancer, breast

reconstructive surgery and all

aspects of benign breast problems,

including nipple discharge and

breast pain.

Mr Beechey-Newman also

pioneered breast duct micro-

endoscopy in Europe. He has

researched and written extensively

on this subject. He has published

the only study in the world to

look at the problem of breast

cancer in very young women

(less than 25 years of age).

In 2003, Mr Beechey-Newman set

up London’s first one-stop breast

diagnostic clinic at London Bridge

Hospital. He now runs similar

one-stop clinics at The Lister

Hospital and at The Harley

Street Breast Clinic.

For more information on our Oncology Services, please contact the GP Liaison Department on:

T: 020 7234 2009