Breast cancer - Northern services

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, but with the treatments available there is a very good chance of recovery, particularly if it is detected at an early stage.

Women are advised to check their breasts regularly for any changes and to see their GP promptly if they are concerned. Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer but this is much less common.

We also encourage you to attend your local screening appointments between the ages of 50 – 71 years.

Our Breast Care Team offer treatment for breast cancer and any other benign (non-cancerous) breast problems.

Our assessments may include the use of mammograms, ultrasound and MRI as well as other diagnostic services. Treatment may involve a wide range of breast surgery, including routine breast operations, oncoplastic surgery (cancer surgery using plastic surgery techniques) and breast reconstruction procedures.

Contact us

North Devon District Hospital 

Main switchboard on 01271 322577

Where will I be seen?

Your healthcare professional will advise where your appointment will take place. The majority of appointments will take place at one of our outpatient clinics situated within our main hospital sites.

Mammography and ultrasound are available at both of our main acute hospitals, but breast MRI takes place solely at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford). The Wonford site also has further options for certain types of surgery, but your consultant will discuss this in more detail with you. 

North Devon District Hospital
Raleigh Park
EX31 4JB


Meet our team

Breast surgeons:

Mrs Anna Conway
Consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon, department lead

Miss Anita Sharma
Consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon

Miss Jenny Banks
Consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon

Contact via breast unit secretary: 01271 322422

Breast care nurses:

Claire Herlihy (lead) (NMP)
Amy Barrow
Karen Hillman (NMP)

Amanda Disney
Abigail Osbourne (Assistant Practitioner)
Jackie Cockwill – Secondary Breast Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

Pippa Clifton – Oncology Nurse Specialist 

Contact number:  01271 349115

Radiology team:

Dr Sandra Owen
Consultant radiologist

Dr Milos Balvin
Locum consultant radiologist

Mrs Heather Mower
Advanced practitioner radiographer and lead mammographer

Mrs Ruth Glover

Advanced practitioner radiographer and lead mammographer

Contact number: 01271 311678 (ext 3678 or 3793)

Oncology team:

Dr Peter Stephens
Consultant medical oncologist

Contact number at NDDH: 01271 311898
Contact number at RD&E: 01392 404578

Contact number at NDDH: 01271 311898
Contact number at RD&E: 01392 406204


Histopathology team:

Dr Adetope Adegbayibi
Consultant histopathologist

Lymphoedema Team
At Barnstaple Health Centre near Green Lanes

Georgina Martin
Macmillan lymphoedema specialist practitioner

Angela Ives

Lymphoedema Specialist Nurse

Contact number: 01271 341551

Services and treatments

A breast cancer diagnosis covers a wide spectrum, ranging from non-invasive conditions such as DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in situ) to invasive breast cancer.

You can find out more about diagnostic tests, assessments and procedures here. 

The most common treatments for breast cancer are surgery, radiotherapy and hormone treatments. Chemotherapy and targeted treatments such as Herceptin and bone strengthening drugs are also advised on an individual basis. We aim to start treatment within one month of your diagnosis.

The purpose of treatment is to remove the cancer (local treatment) and treat the rest of your body (systemic treatment) with the aim of reducing the risk of recurrence in the long term.

The Breast Cancer Now website and Macmillan website explain more about the different types of treatments offered.

You can also find out more about the different types of treatment by visiting the NHS website. 

This includes:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone treatment
  • Targeted therapy
  •  Herceptin
  • Endocrine Treatment (Antioestrogen e.g. Tamoxifen or Aromatase Inhibitors)
  • Bisphosphonates- bone-strengthening agents
  • Holistic Care- Moving Forward Clinic

Breast screening service

Your local breast screening service is provided by InHealth, a private medical company which works closely with the NHS. Women over the age of 70 are not routinely invited for screening but can request a mammogram by contacting the breast screening unit directly on 01392 262600.

Find out more

Surgery for breast cancer

Surgery is usually the first treatment for breast cancer, although sometimes chemotherapy or hormone treatments can be given first. If patients have other health conditions which limit their surgical options they may be advised hormone therapy to treat their cancer as first-line treatment.

Find out more

Supporting you

Having cancer can have an impact on every aspect of your life and on those around you. We understand that this is a difficult and often frightening time for you and your loved ones, which is why we have put together a wide range of information to help you live with and beyond cancer.

Some of these services are available locally, whilst others cover Devon and/or the South West Peninsula as a whole. 

Find out more

Acute Oncology Service - when you feel unwell

Side effects of chemotherapy are usually temporary and most can be controlled. Chemotherapy affects people in different ways, and two people having the same drugs may feel completely different to each other during the course of their treatment. Before starting chemotherapy, you should be given a 24-hour contact number or told who to contact if you feel unwell at any time during your treatment, including at night or at the weekends. Between each cycle of chemotherapy, you’ll have an assessment to see how you’re feeling and whether you’ve had any side effects.

If you are receiving chemotherapy and are experiencing concerns with side effects, please contact the Acute Oncology Service Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm on: 01271 311579.

For side effect management at weekends or from 6pm on a weekday, please telephone the Out Of Hours service on: 01271 322577 and ask for “Bleep 500”.

Last updated: December 30, 2022.