Women who are worried or wish further examination and do not (dare to) go to their GP for a referral can be seen directly at the Breast Care Center for preventive breast examination by ultrasound of the breasts. This applies especially to women under the age of 30. For screening examinations of women over 30 years of age, mammography is the examination of first choice, but a referral from the general practitioner is required.

See more about this on the mammography and ultrasound pages.


Your primary care physician may refer you to the Breast Care Center for several reasons. (Benign) breast diseases, control of silicone prostheses, hereditary predisposition for breast cancer, increased family risk, follow-up procedures from the population screening or a 2nd opinion.

You can come to the Breast Care Center for these examinations. You will be seen in a woman-friendly environment outside the hospital atmosphere. In addition to medical care, the specialists and staff of the WHC are accustomed to seeing the patient in the center of women's care, where attention and commitment are of great value. We take ample time for each consultation and/or examination.

(Benign) breast disorders

Almost half of all women with breast complaints have a benign breast disorder. It usually involves a lump that feels different in the breast. The majority of women feel a change around menstruation or pregnancy. Swollen and painful breasts are common then.

In the remaining women, there is often a benign condition unrelated to menstruation or pregnancy.

Examples include:

  • A fibroadenoma, also called a connective tissue nodule.
  • A cyst, a vesicle filled with fluid.
  • A lipoma, a benign tumor of fatty tissue cells.
  • Mastopathy, a collective term for painful glandular tissue and/or strained breasts. Sometimes in combination with nipple fluid or cysts. Mastopathy is more common in premenopausal women with a peak between 35 and 40 years of age and around menopause.

Examination is always important

It is always important to see a doctor when there are changes in the breasts. This applies to both men and women. If you are menstruating and have painful, tense breasts you may want to wait until a week after your period. If the abnormalities have not disappeared by then, you should still see your doctor. In the vast majority of cases it is a benign breast disorder. However, it is important to have it diagnosed with certainty.

SILICONE Prosthetic

Many women with silicone prosthetics have questions or complaints regarding their prosthetics. They wonder about cracking, leakage or capsular contracture. These questions can be well answered by ultrasound. However, to exclude breast cancer in prosthesis wearers over the age of 30, mammography is required in addition to ultrasound. This is done in our center with attention and care by a specially trained X-ray technician.

Hereditary predisposition

Some women have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer due to their genes: there may be a hereditary form, which means that breast cancer is more common in the family. If you are genetically predisposed, it is extra important to know your breasts well and watch for changes.

Breast cancer has a hereditary cause if there is a congenital predisposition, a mutation in the hereditary material. Women with such a hereditary predisposition have a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The main hereditary cause of breast cancer is a mutation in the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene. BRCA comes from the English word breast cancer. This predisposition greatly increases the risk of breast cancer and also increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

The following factors may indicate that heredity plays a role:

  • breast cancer at a young age (under 40).
  • breast or ovarian cancer in the family.
  • a male relative with breast cancer.
  • prostate cancer under 60 years of age.
  • breast cancer in both breasts, even without it being in the family.

If any of these factors occur in your situation, it is always advisable to have further research done, including a hereditary test. Request this from your family doctor.

Familial increased risk

Some women are known to have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer because:

  • they have a high incidence of breast or ovarian cancer in their family and undergo periodic check-ups on the advice of a clinical genetics center.
  • they are carriers of an abnormality in a gene (mutation) that increases the risk of breast cancer, such as BRCA or CHEK2

About 15% of all patients with breast cancer have a first- or second-degree relative with breast cancer. This does not mean that the breast cancer is then also caused by mutations in the genes. This is only the case in 5-10% of cases.

Not all hereditary causes of breast cancer are yet known. If no predisposition is found in hereditary testing but yet many women in the family have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is referred to as familial breast cancer.

Follow-up pathways from population screening

All women aged 50 to 75 years receive invitations for the breast cancer screening every 2 years. After the mammography examination, you will receive the results of the examination. If a suspicious abnormality is found, you may discuss with your primary care physician to go to the Breast Care Center for further testing. You can get to the Breast Care Center quickly for this.

2nd opinion

If a treatment proposal has already been discussed with you, you may need a second expert opinion. This can sometimes provide more clarity and assurance about everything you need to undergo. That's why it's important to ask questions of your doctor if you don't understand things. Also when you have doubts about the choices made by your medical team. In that case, always get a second doctor's opinion. You can get a second opinion through your doctor or medical specialist. There are no waiting times for this at the Breast Care Center.

The Federation of Patients has a dossier on second opinions with clear explanations.

Medical Specialist
Mrs. O.V.E. PATHO, Mrs. M.N. Weimann.

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