Dedicated to the care of breast cancer and all breast conditions
Dr Sarah Rayne is no longer practising in
Johannesburg and this practice is closed.

These pages are for information only,
and current only until 2018
I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer- help!
Click to read more
I’ve noticed a lump in my breast
Click to read more
I have breast pain               
Click to read more
I need advice about breastfeeding
Click to read more
Helen Joseph Breast Care Clinic  
The Helen Joseph Breast Care Centre (HJBCC) was set up in 2005 by Dr Carol-Ann Benn to meet the need of improved direct access to specialist breast care in Johannesburg. She was later joined in the Centre by a further Specialist Surgeon, Dr Sarah Rayne. Together they aim to ensure each patient is seen in a pleasant environment, managed with professionalism and kindness to international standards of breast cancer care.
Visit our clinics
For breast reduction or augmentation surgery
Genetic counselling
Supportive care
The vision of the unit is to provide world-class breast care to the women of Johannesburg and South Africa, delivered in a provincial (government) hospital setting. Patient care should be excellent but affordable, and allow women (and men) access to all the available methods of breast pathology diagnosis and treatment through an integrated, education orientated, multidisciplinary approach; ensuring high quality patient care and effective service delivery.

What does that mean?

This vision is shared by each member of our multi-disciplinary team, and provides the framework for the functioning of the Clinic. It enables us to set our goals in the provision of care:

Care should be affordable to each patient regardless of circumstances

All breast care should be easily accessible to every women in the community

To provide cancer care that is complete, incorporating risk assessment, diagnosis, oncological management, holistic care, reconstruction and long-term surveillance

A unit that is research orientated, allowing for the audit and improvement of services within the unit, as well as informing the nation and international community on breast health issues and epidemiology in South Africa

To enable women to present early in the disease process by working in the community in an outreach and educational role. This will result in earlier diagnosis and increased survival, reducing our cancer mortality.

The Clinic also works with local cancer charities and other organisations to raise awareness of the importance of breast health for individuals through media and government initiatives. We also provide education and training to healthcare professionals within the hospitals of Johannesburg, throughout Gauteng province, and throughout Africa.
Visit our clinics
Helen Joseph Breast Care Clinic works as part of a government-funded hospital providing for patients who have no independent medical funding. Patients under 65 years are means-assessed into two categories and pay for consultations or in-patient care. Pensioners and patients with no income are assessed and will normally have treatment for free (proof of status is required).

Consultation charges (2014) are: R35 or R110.
The HJBCC provides two specialist breast clinics each week. These are open access clinics which enables each woman to be seen within a week of identification of a breast problem.

Tuesday morning: Open access for all new patients who haven’t been to the clinic before. You do not need an appointment you can just turn up. Cost is minimal and means-tested

Thursday: Open access for follow-up patients undergoing investigation and treatment in the HJBCC.

Each clinic is run with:
  • At least one specialist surgeon
  • One or two training surgeons (registrar/resident) and
  • One or two interns (junior doctors)
For cancer-related problems:
If you are a new patient, please attend the Tuesday clinic but remember to bring all your mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy results with you. You are responsible for bringing all your results and obtaining them from your current treating doctor. Your treatment will be delayed if we have to repeat tests.
For breast reduction or augmentation surgery:
We have an open access clinic on a Thursday morning at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg where there are plastic surgeons. If you come long we can discuss your risk factors and examine you and make sure you have good breast care and any treatment you require which can include breast reduction. There is a charge administered by Helen Joseph Hospital for breast reductions and may be a waiting list.

These clinics and the ward care are complemented by a Nurse-led dressing clinic run each morning for breast care centre patients. Our nurses are expert in managing dressings and drains for post-operative patients, as well as explaining and supporting patients in the management of their own wounds and drains.
Genetic counselling
Some lumps in the breast may be lymph nodes reacting to infection. They are typically in the tail of the breast extending towards the armpit. These lymph nodes can also swell due to cancer of the breast, or cancer in the lymph glands itself (lymphoma) which can occur in HIV positive women. Every lump in the breast should be examined and investigated.

Breast cancer can occur in any woman. HIV does not mean that you are at higher risk, but you should still get every lump or problem checked out. HIV positive women can still have the same treatments for cancer as HIV negative women safely and with no worry that it will make either the cancer or the HIV worse.
Counselling and psychological support
Our team of volunteer counsellors, each of whom is a survivor of breast cancer, is the most essential part of the comprehensive care that HJBCC strives to provide for our patients.

Funded by charity, they provide full-time open-access cancer care follow-up and referrals. They reach and support patients in many and varied ways, translating the medical system and practice of health care to patients unfamiliar with it. It is easy for patients in our time- and economically-constrained community to ‘fall through the gaps’ of cancer treatment, and the counsellors together with involved ward staff form an important safety-net to prevent this.

There is also a strong connection between HJBCC and Breast Health Foundation of South Africa, who provide more wide-ranging support to the centre. They have recently provided funds and volunteers to paint the centre, and continue to raise awareness of the clinic through mobile breast units and community education. Their ‘Bosom Buddies’ support network is invaluable in continuing our patient support in the community. Check out their website here or contact 0861 buddie.

We also have Reflexology for Breast Clinic patients, which is provided by the Department of Somatology at University of Johannesburg.
HIV counselling and Testing (PICT)
HJBCC aims to offer Provider-initiated Counseling and Testing (PICT) to all patients attending the Tuesday New Patient breast clinic. This is in line with the Department of Health’s National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-1016.

The aim of this work is to identify new cases on HIV to reduce transmission and increase access to care, in line with objectives 2 and 3. Through routine access and discussion we aim to reduce the stigma of HIV and TB amongst our patients (objective 1).

Breast cancer was once a disease that women were afraid of, and embarrassed to admit to. Only through women coming together and overcoming these barriers in the last 20 years has there been an increase in survival and access to care for women with breast cancer. We believe this model is also possible with HIV and we are keen to offer these services to our patients.