For information about our breast cancer services during COVID-19 and tips for coping with a cancer diagnosis, please download this resource (.pdf).
Welcome to the Breast Centre.
Our Breast Centre works in partnership with other WCH clinics, including the After Cancer Treatment Transition (ACTT) and the Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic. Click on the links to learn more information about their services.
Referral forms can be found at the bottom of this page.
To ensure a complete and timely consultation of your breast concern, we require that you bring a copy of any outside breast imaging on a CD in DICOM format. This can be done by calling the clinic where the imaging was done and advising them that a copy disc is required for a specialist appointment.
To prepare for all your visits, we recommend that you gather a list of your current medications, review your health history including cancer history and treatment, and write down your concerns or questions. Though not required, we recommend that a family member, friend or advocate accompanies you to your appointment. Should interpreter services be required for your appointment, please advise us as early as possible to ensure accommodations can be made in time for your appointment, test or procedure.
Day of Appointment: What To Expect
We would ask that you plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time so that we can complete your registration. Please remember to bring your Ontario Health Card with you to this appointment.
Please Note: If you do not have a valid Ontario Health Card, you will be required to pay directly for the clinical service(s) provided at the time of your visit. Details are available from any of our program secretaries who can be contacted at 416-323-6225.
Please note: We cannot guarantee that breast imaging, biopsies and doctor appointments can be booked on the same day.
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify us to cancel and/or re-schedule your appointment. We require 48 hours’ notice of a cancellation so we can fill your appointment with another patient.
Your first visit with the specialist will include discussing your history, your family history and an examination of your breasts. Any additional tests or imaging appointments will be arranged at a different time.
If you would like to complete the patient self-assessment/breast health family history form prior to your appointment, please download the form.
As part of an academic teaching hospital, patients may also meet with students and trainees in various disciplines from nursing, allied health and medical residents and fellows. These individuals receive specialized and hands-on training with direct supervision and expertise from our team.
"When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was in shock. I could not process the information. I wanted to talk to someone who has gone through her own cancer journey. When I talked to Kate about my diagnosis (a CCS support and information specialist). she was empathetic, supportive and understood exactly what I was going through. She can relate to you because she has been through it. She helped me and my family so much throughout my journey. It’s an invaluable support program to the patients." - June
The following individuals make up the members of the team you will meet at the Breast Centre
Physicians and Surgeons
Our physicians and surgeons specialize in the treatment and care related to breast health, breast related diseases and breast reconstruction. Our team includes: breast surgeons, plastic surgeons and high-risk specialists
- Dr. John Semple
- Dr. Mitch Brown
- Dr. Brett Beber
- Dr. Pam Lenkov
- Dr. Tulin Cil
- Dr. Jamie Escallon
- Dr. Karen Jang
- Dr. Laura Catz-Biro
- Dr. Ted Ross
Registered Nurse/ Nurse Navigator
The Navigator will coordinate the care of all women with a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. The Navigator will be the primary contact for patients and their families, ensuring comprehensive care along the entire screening and diagnostic, treatment/care, and aftercare pathways.
Genetic Counsellors can assess personal and/or family medical history to determine if an individual might have an increased risk for developing certain types of cancers. A Genetic Counsellor will discuss whether the cancer in a family may be hereditary, and if genetic testing is appropriate. Where warranted, genetic testing will be arranged, and results and implications discussed. Genetic Counsellors can provide information and support to an individual and their family, regarding the different options on how to best manage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.
The Social Worker will assist individuals and families to address and manage their emotional and social wellbeing. The Social Worker works together with other members of the health care team to provide education, counselling, support and therapy to individuals and families throughout the cancer and BRCA diagnosis and care journey. The Social Worker offers brief therapy, group therapy and connects individuals/families with community resources and programs. Speak with your doctor or nurse about getting a referral for social worker or contact (416)-323-7330
Available for appointments: Face-to-face interaction/Telephone call/Virtual communication.
Onsite Breast Centre/Gynecology 5th floor (Monday-Friday 8:30 am-4:30 pm)
Peer Support and Information Specialist
Patients in the Breast Centre who have received a breast cancer diagnosis or have discovered that they carry a hereditary gene mutation can meet with our Peer Support & Information Specialist, Kate Mlodzik. Kate provides emotional support and credible information about programs and resources within the community. She is available in the Breast Centre, 5th Floor, on Mondays from 8am – 4pm and can also be reached at email@example.com or (416)-323-6274.
Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist
Our highly specialized rehab team will see you before and after your surgery. Range of motion, post-op exercises and stress reduction are some areas they will discuss with you.
The Medical Secretary provides clerical support including telecommunications and customer service functions. The Medical Secretary facilitates efficient and timely access to specialty services by receiving and processing referrals and scheduling and confirming of appointments.
The clinics in the Breast Centre include:
Diagnostic: Provides assessment and testing for abnormal clinical or breast imaging concerns. Click here for Breast Imaging and Mammography department
Surgery: Provides treatment and care for breast cancer, breast reconstruction, prophylactic surgery, and other breast concerns.
- Breast reconstruction: our plastic surgery team sees patients requiring immediate and delayed breast reconstruction as well as immediate breast reconstruction with prophylactic mastectomy. Our team works closely with the breast surgeons to plan your care.
High risk clinic: The clinic offers imaging, counseling, genetics, and referrals and follow up care.
The following groups of women are eligible for a mammogram through the Ontario Breast Screen Program (OBSP):
- Women aged 50 to 74 years who are average risk for breast cancer.
- Women aged 30 to 69 year who are identified as being at high risk for breast cancer
For more information, please refer to Cancer Care Ontario - Ontario Breast Screening Program and Breast Cancer Screening for Women at High Risk.
For Breast imaging instructions and contact information, please find more details on this link.
Genetics: The Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic provides comprehensive Genetic Counselling services for individuals with a personal and/or family history of cancers (e.g., breast). Testing services are also available to those who are eligible, and families may receive other clinic services and long-term follow-up. Genetic counselors based at the unit offer information and support to women and their families about their options. Together, we work closely with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast. A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Cells in the breast sometimes change and no longer grow or behave normally. These changes may lead to non-cancerous (benign) breast conditions such as atypical hyperplasia and cysts. They can also lead to non-cancerous tumours such as intraductal papillomas.
- Ductal Carcinoma
- Lobular carcinoma
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer
- Paget disease of the nipple
- Triple negative breast cancer
- Intraductal papilloma
- Phylloides tumour
- Atypical hyperplasia
- Breast pain
- Breast cysts
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Nipple discharge
There are many resources available for both patients and health care professionals. The following are websites that will provide the answers to many questions you may have about breast health:
- Breast Cancer Resources
- Lymphedema Resources
- Mental Health Resources
- Fertility Resources
- Children and Families Resources
- Community Resources
- Exercise Programs for Cancer Survivors
- Exercise Programs for Cancer Survivors
- Nutrition Resources
- Sexual Health Resources
- Work and Finance
- WCH Resources
Pre and Post-operative Information
For the latest information on your surgery, please check out the WCH Surgery department website Here
- Lymph Node Dissection
- Description of each procedure
- What happens during and after surgery
- What activities of daily living can I do after surgery
- When to call your doctor after surgery
- Rehabilitation following Breast Surgery
- General activity guidelines and exercises
- Resources, books, and videos
- Post-surgical swelling control
- Pain management
- Resuming daily activities
- Breast reconstruction
- Successful return to work
- Relaxation and stress management
- Fatigue management
- Psychosocial Support
Do I need a referral completed by my family doctor before I am seen in the Breast Centre?
Please refer to the referral section at the bottom of this page. You can also get information from the Ontario Breast Screening Program.
What should I bring to my doctor's appointment?
Please refer to information located under ‘Your Care’ for more information on how to prepare for your visit to the Breast Centre.
How do I access my test results?
myHealthRecord is Women’s College Hospital’s online patient medical record that gives you access to your health information online at any time, from anywhere. Become an active participant in your own healthcare by registering today.
If I need chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment, where would I go?
WCH does not offer on-site chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment. We are closely affiliated with several cancer care centres who provide these services, and if required can liaise patients to nearby cancer centres.
Is reconstructive surgery an available option to WCH Breast Centre patients?
WCH offers both immediate and delayed breast reconstructive surgeries. Please contact the Breast Centre at 416-323-6225 for more information.
If I needed to see a fertility specialist, can this be arranged?
Patients are offered fertility counseling and support through our Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic. Patients are also referred to fertility specialists at external fertility organizations that are associated with the hospital.
Where can I go to find out more information about nutrition?
Please refer to the nutrition resources posted in the 'Patient Resources' tab for more information. Please refer to the nutrition resources posted in the 'Patient Resources' tab for more information.
How do I speak with my children about my diagnosis?
Please refer to Social Work description in 'Our Team' tab here. For more information please refer to Start The Talk. WCH offers access to free supervised, short-stay "play zone" for children while patients and families are tending to healthcare appointments at WCH. Please check out this link for more details.
- Do I need a referral completed by my family doctor before I am seen in the Breast Centre?
Please have your primary care provider/specialist fax your referral to the Breast Centre at:
Please note that all imaging, reports, biopsy results and genetic results must be received before an appointment is assigned.
All genetic results must accompany referral for the High Risk Clinic, Prophylactic Breast Surgery, and Gynecologic/Breast High Risk Clinic. No appointment will be assigned until all the required information (imaging, biopsy and genetic) is obtained by the clinic.
Patient referral (.pdf) - FOR PHYSICIANS ONLY -