Frequently Asked Questions
We have collected some of the questions that we have been asked over the years here to better help you make your decision about your care. The questions have been divided into groups reflecting the stage of your treatment.
“How to check your breasts” is a question we are often asked and we have collected all the information here for you to follow. Breast self-examination is the most effective if performed every month at around the same time, preferably after the menstruation.
Breast cancer symptoms vary from person to person. Some symptoms are normal, but it is always good to get the changes checked by a professional to be safe. You can find an article about the most common breast cancer signs and symptoms here.
There is a good chance that the lump you have found might be a benign mass, but it is good to make sure of this through diagnostic methods including breast ultrasound, breast MRI or a biopsy. Contact us and we can book you in for a consultation and necessary exams.
After the examinations, we will have more answers for you.
If you have already received a diagnosis confirming that you have breast cancer, first of all, take a deep breath, with the modern techniques you have every probability of surviving.
Depending on the size and location of the tumour in your breast, there are a few different treatment options available. Sometimes radiation or chemotherapy are sufficient, but often a breast cancer surgery is needed to get the cancerous cells out of the body. In addition to the surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation might still be needed to ensure that cancer will not spread any further.
Our experienced doctors will be able to determine the best course of action for you, contact us to start getting better.
If your family member or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, there are multiple ways you can show you are there for them during their illness. Your patience is key as a cancer diagnosis can be exhausting to the patient, both emotionally and physically. You can support your spouse by:
We are here for you and are fully committed to helping you and supporting you all during the care process.
Choosing the right doctor
If you are looking for a caring and professional clinic to answer your breast cancer-related questions, Clinic Helena is your answer. Our advanced methods and globally recognised head surgeon Helena Puonti and her team of professionals are key to a good recovery. Read more about Clinic Helena here.
The cost of surgical treatment in Clinic Helena depends on any patient’s specific medical case. Our approximate prices are indicated as “from … to …”, and the clinic staff will calculate the final cost once we agree on your specific operation plan. Please contact us for more details.
Before the consultation
Before meeting the doctor, we would like to ask you to send us all the relevant information you have received so far so that our doctors will be able to give you accurate answers already during your first consultation meeting.
After receiving the documents, we can start with an online consultation or book a consultation to meet with the doctor in person. An online consultation can be arranged for the next day.
We kindly ask you to send us all relevant medical documents in advance to provide the doctor with the necessary medical information to best evaluate your treatment needs.
For example, for the diagnostics of the breast cancer the mammography images and statements and any other medical examinations (US or MRI images and statements and biopsy results) would be useful, if you already have them.
If they are not available, all examinations can be carried out in Clinic Helena. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
A breast cancer diagnosis often starts at your regular GP’s appointment, during which your doctor may be able to detect abnormalities in your breast and guide you forward to specific examinations. This way breast cancer can be detected at an early stage before any visible symptoms appear.
Yearly mammogram screenings are an effective way of identifying suspicious changes.
Breast cancer diagnostics include multiple stages, starting from a mammologist’s clinical examination, breast ultrasound, mammography, and a needle biopsy if deemed necessary. Our doctors will be able to determine the necessary tests needed in your specific case.
We can arrange the necessary examinations for you here in Finland in a matter of days. If you are located abroad, you may get the exams done through your own GP and ask them to send the results to us for an accurate diagnosis. If the exams show that further treatment is needed, we will provide you with the treatment plan and an initial price estimate.
We are here to help with any questions you may have.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive (no radiation is used) imaging technique that creates images of your breast through soundwaves to give the doctor more information about the lump. A breast ultrasound gives evidence about the size and location of the lump and the consistency (solid/ fluid) of the lump. This diagnostic method can confirm or rule out whether the change is cancerous tumour or a benign cyst.
A breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a non-invasive (no radiation is used) imaging technique during which magnetic energy and radio waves are transmitted through the breast tissue. A breast MRI creates a detailed picture of the breast and helps the doctor to assess the extent of the tumour site.
Mammography is a non-invasive (small amount of radiation is used) X-ray imaging technique of the breast tissue, which gives the doctor a better understanding of the lump in the breast. Helps our specialists to determine if the changes indicate the presence of breast cancer.
Quick examinations and treatment
If you have already been diagnosed with breast cancer or if, on the basis of your symptoms, you suspect it, you can access Helena Puonti’s consultation quickly and without a referral.
Why choose Clinic Helena:
- World-class expertise in breast cancer treatment, using the most modern methods.
- Helena Puonti’s unique Sensing Breast-method – available only at Clinic Helena.
- We devote ourselves to helping You recover completeley from your illness.
Before surgery, we ask you to come to the clinic for a possible first “live” consultation meeting with the operating doctor 5 days before the operation so that we can go over the surgical plan together with you and answer any questions you may have.
On the same day, you will also have all the necessary blood work done so that everything will be ready when the operation day comes.
Our staff will give you detailed information related to your specific surgery about the relevant instructions regarding eating, drinking, etc. You will receive all instructions in written form and you can always contact our experts should you have any questions.
We have a team of highly qualified doctors, you can get more information about them here.
Sometimes your operation can be performed as a daysurgery, and you will be able to return to your hotel/apartment the same day.
Breast cancer patients usually stay in ward for 1 night, after which they are discharged from the hospital and can continue to heal at the hotel.
Breast reconstructions with nerved connections require a period of 4-5 days in the hospital after which you will be discharged from the hospital to the hotel.
After the surgery
After your surgery, depending on the difficulty of the operation, we usually ask you to stay in Savonlinna or Tampere for 8-14 days. Breast cancer surgeries usually require 8 postoperative days to ensure you are healing properly, while with breast reconstructions it is advised to stay in the area for 14 days to avoid any complications.
We continue to monitor your healing daily and you are free to travel back home after the surgeon has cleared you fit to travel.
Our aim is always to remove your tumour fully so that you can return to your good quality of life after you have recovered from the cancer surgery.
If a mastectomy has been performed, you may already have discussed with the doctor about the possibility to get breast reconstruction at a later stage. This will be performed once you have fully healed, usually 1-2 years after your cancer operation.