Epworth Richmond Breast Service

The Breast Service at Epworth Richmond is a specialist facility providing rapid access and integrated, patient-centred care delivered by a dedicated multidisciplinary team. 

Breast diagnostic and treatment procedures available on-site include:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy.


Our specialist breast surgeons provide a comprehensive service for investigation and management of all benign and malignant breast conditions, including sentinel node biopsy and breast reconstruction. 

We care for breast cancer patients through all stages of the patient journey, from diagnosis and surgery to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, all here at Epworth Richmond.


About our service


The Breast Service at Epworth Richmond offers

  • Evaluation of all symptomatic problems in both men and women, with rapid access to a specialist breast surgeon for patients referred by their general practitioners with an emphasis on accurate and timely diagnosis
  • Immediate access to a full diagnostic work up including breast imaging (mammography / ultrasound) and pathology (fine needle aspiration / core biopsy) as required, with rapid provision of results
  • Access to a breast care nurse at the initial visit and throughout the entire patient journey
  • Provision of a full range of all treatment modalities, with care delivered by a multidisciplinary team in accordance with agreed clinical guidelines, emphasising compliance with evidence-based practice. We aim to provide an integrated approach to breast care in which medical and allied health professionals consider all relevant treatment options and, together with the patient, collaboratively develop an individual treatment plan for each patient through our regularly held multidisciplinary meetings
  • Surgical management of benign breast conditions and breast cancer (symptomatic and screen detected) with access to the full range of breast surgical services including sentinel node biopsy and breast reconstruction
  • Post hospital discharge support arranged by our breast care nurse​
  • On site specialist breast plastic surgical service for immediate or delayed breast reconstruction
  • Medical and radiation oncology services for both consultation and treatment, with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy administered on site
  • Advice, screening and surveillance for women with an increased risk of developing breast cancer (e.g. family history)
  • Expert second opinions 


We continue to strive for quality improvement in the service. Current initiatives can be discussed with the Epworth Breast Service team.


Breast awareness


It is important for women to become familiar with the normal look, feel and shape of their breasts so they will notice any abnormal changes.


Steps to being breast aware:

  • Familiarise yourself with the normal look and feel of your breasts

  • If you notice any unusual breast changes – arrange for an appointment with your GP

  • Those aged 50 to 69 can have a mammogram at Breast Screen Victoria every two years


Women of all ages should be familiar with their breasts, but be aware that as you get older the risk of breast cancer increases.


Common benign breast problems


Breast Cysts

These localised collections of fluid in the breast are very common.  Milk ducts in the breast are very active and when a duct becomes blocked, fluid is trapped causing a cyst to form. They can occur at any age, but a more common in the 30-50 year age bracket. They are often tender and are diagnosed by imaging (mammogram or ultrasound).  If they cause no symptoms and they have benign features on imaging then they require no treatment.  If they require aspiration (drainage), it can be done under ultrasound guidance either in the X-Ray department or in the consulting rooms by putting a needle into the cyst.



This is a benign condition where there is an overgrowth of normal breast tissue.  Fibroadenomas have an unknown cause and are more common in younger women (21-25 years). They can be influenced by hormonal changes i.e. menstrual cycle, pregnancy, etc.  The treatment of this condition depends on signs and symptoms, age of patient, and biopsy results.  All these factors will be discussed by your breast specialist.


Mastalgia (Breast Pain)

This affects up to 70% of women at some stage of their lives. Breast pain is not usually associated with breast cancer, but if it is persistent and doesn’t respond to simple pain medications it is recommended that you discuss this with your GP. Your GP will arrange investigations if they deem it necessary and on-going referral to a breast specialist if appropriate.​

Family history of breast cancer


A family history of breast cancer means that one or more close relatives have had breast cancer at some stage in their lives. You may be at a higher risk than the population. However, this will be the case for only a small percentage of women.


Our doctors are specialists within this field and work closely with the familial cancer centres to deliver the gold standard of treatment.  If you are concerned or have questions about breast cancer in your family please do not hesitate to contact our Breast Care Nurse Co-ordinator.




Triple Test

When investigating breast change, a triple test is mostly used to find the cause. This includes:

  • a clinical breast examination

  • imaging such as, mammography and ultrasound – visit Epworth Medical Imaging for more information

  • a non surgical biopsy. This includes:

                   - FNA - Fine needle aspiration: removal of a collection of cells from the breast with a tiny needle (much like a blood sampling needle) which are examined by 

                     a pathologist under a microscope

                   - Core biopsy: local anaesthetic is used and a specialized biopsy needle to remove tiny pieces of tissue from the breast for examination by a pathologist

                   - Vacuum assisted stereotactic core biopsy: specialized core biopsy which removes lots of small pieces of tissue from the breast with the assistance of a 

                      mammography machine 

Post Biopsy Care

  • You will experience some discomfort in your breast after the local anaesthetic wears off.  This will settle over the next day or so.  If you need to, take a simple pain killer such as Paracetamol

  • You may go back to work after your biopsy but we advise you not to do any strenuous exercise (such as aerobics or heavy lifting) for 24 hours

  • Some bruising at a biopsy site is to be expected and will clear over the next week or so.  The dressing may be removed after about 48 hours

  • If you notice excessive swelling, pain or bleeding please call our Breast Care Nurse on 0400 657 968


Our specialists