"Zoe once said to me when discussing the tactics for managing my health, " If you can't see what's coming, how do you know when to duck!". Zoe's foresight and approach to breast cancer is in the spirit of 'be prepared' and 'face it head on', however she never expects the patient to do this alone. Zoe's unique and intelligent approach to treatment and her commitment to her patients is staggering. The level care Zoe demonstrates is a precious oasis in an otherwise overwhelming landscape of treatment, surgery, pain and fear, she takes a distressed patient and immediately empowers them.
Zoe has expertly steered me towards my future and taught me to inform myself, to try to understand all that has happened to my body and to act preventatively, prior to this I was only full of fear. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2000 followed by chemo, radiotherapy and a course of aromatase inhibitors, I then moved to be under the care of Zoe. For the first time ever after having seen many consultants, Zoe suggested I look at the genetics behind my breast cancer. It was crucial advice and on Zoe's part it wasn't some vague hunch she was going with, but a sensitive, thorough and reassuring strategy created for me. This was back in 2004 at a time when undergoing surgery for genetic reasons was viewed as 'extreme'. My intuition was to listen to this amazing consultant who sat in front of me, and who spoke my language, as a result I had further surgery which has now dramatically reduced my risk of recurrence, and my family and I are now managed by geneticists and oncologists, who like Zoe, think and lead in a way that can only be described as pioneering.
Zoe communicates constantly with other professionals to identify her patients needs and to anyone that meets Zoe it is obvious that her raison d'être is to serve her patients. Zoe has changed mine and my children's lives. Abreast's work is vital".
"We found Miss Winters to be thorough in the diagnosis of my pre-cancerous condition. She moved the process on quickly to assess the situation accurately. Dr Winters took painstaking care to achieve an excellent result in reconstruction, with her attention to detail and perfectionist commitment to her work.
I would highly recommend Dr Winters as an excellent surgeon".
"My name is Julie Skinner, I am 52 years old and in my lifetime I have had breast cancer twice. The first time I had it was when I was 31 and it then reoccurred when I was 42. This is when I met Dr Zoe Winters. I have been under her care for the past 11 years and have received nothing but 100% from her. She has been both supportive and thorough with my care throughout my time with her. When you go for your appointment with Dr Winters time is never an issue. I believe that Zoe is an asset to the health care system in Bristol and myself and my family are truly thankful to her".
"I have read so many testimonials from surviving breast cancer patients, but no one has mentioned those that saved their lives!
In December 2012 I was re-diagnosed with cancer in my right breast, 10 years on from the left breast. This wonderful Breast Surgeon, Zoë Winters was the one that sat opposite me, comforted and advised me. She has cared for me through a bilateral mastectomy always putting my needs first in discussions. She was there to support my family gently explaining how we went forward. Thank you Zoë for your care and helping me to start life again. You are not only an exceptionally talented medical professional, but a compassionate and dedicated pioneer in the complex research of Breast Cancer".
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and was of course devastated when I was initially informed. Zoe was my consultant from the outset and I still recall her informing me of this news, in a calm, sympathetic and genuinely caring manner. My initial shock turned to tears and the thought of the forthcoming treatment was frightening and unknown to me. I was totally unprepared to deal with this. Zoe, however, remained totally focused from the outset, guiding me through my ordeal and explaining in great detail every step which would be necessary to take in my forthcoming treatment.
I started chemotherapy and prior to Christmas I had a mastectomy followed by radiotherapy. Zoe ensured I was fully aware of the treatments and procedures involved and encouraged me to be positive and clear on reaching a successful outcome, which greatly helped.
Zoe is a true professional and her vast expertise and fellow professional contacts gives you the confidence you need to get through, and cope with, every aspect of an otherwise overwhelming and confusing experience.
Zoe offered technical advice and support on every occasion I met with her and is backed up by a wonderful breast care nurse, Jackie, who truly cares and offers kind and caring support.
I have no hesitation in recommending Zoe and am so grateful to her for her great efforts and support throughout the whole of my treatment".
"It was by chance that I found myself in the care of Zoe Winters when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. I could not have been in better hands - Miss Winters' skill and dedication together with her commitment to research and her compassion gave me great confidence and comfort. I have always found her easy to talk to, approachable and caring. I do feel very fortunate that, in a stressful situation, I have been looked after by a consultant who is both a perfectionist and brilliant at her work, and who is also able to communicate with her patients and put them at ease.
"As you know I came to you after a lengthy search on the internet to find a very knowledgeable and experienced Breast Surgeon, who would be able to give me a second opinion, having been through a bad experience with a biopsy in Solihull which we both found out I had been wrongly diagnosed! The day I visited you for the first time I was lucky for two reasons, since I met with you, and Dr Angela Jones who was also able to have a look at the mammograms I brought down. You both arranged for me to have a core biopsy again in Bristol.
That night I knew after talking with you that if I needed surgery. I also knew I wanted you to carry it out as I felt reassured you could guide me through this terrible time. The core biopsy did not confirm I was clear like the previous one and you arranged for an MRI. The result was, I went in for a WLI and came out of hospital with no pain whatsoever! But sadly the margin was not good enough and I had to have a full mastectomy and reconstruction to my right breast, which in fact you had suggested instead of WLI!
The operation was booked and you and the nurses spent a lot of time explaining to me the detail I wanted to understand (as I am that type of person) and eventually the day came and the operation was on the hottest day of the year and even the air-conditioning broke down in the theatre, but the Op was completed after almost 9 hours and I was back in my room. What amazes me to this day is I was in no pain after the Op, during that night and needed no morphine. A clear testimony to your surgical expertise and thoroughness. My back muscle area and breast healed fast and the result has been amazing to look at ever since.
During this time I had enormous support and help from you as I was an incredibly nervous patient and need careful but firm handling though every stage and afterwards since . I also know you helped many other women through this incredibly hard time using your brilliant patient people handling capabilities and superb surgical knowledge.
Even now several years later, during my regular checks I get the same understanding and support . Let's hope other younger breasts surgeons get the opportunity of learning from you and the research work initiatives you work towards.
Thank you of course for being so supportive and knowledgeable".
"I cannot thank you enough for all the care you have given me again this year. You listened to me when I came back to you regarding my lumps and bumps and very speedily sorted out all the relevant tests and treatment. I am very fortunate to have had your continuing expertise, care and support for so many years".
"I want to say thank you for making yourself so available for me, both by phone and by seeing me so speedily. It was a turning point in this whole experience and the first time I felt confident in understanding my histology and the best plan that would suit me. Thank you so very much for all you advise and kindness in seeing me so swiftly and putting me on a path that offers me reassurance".
"Since my recurrence of breast cancer in 2003 I have been cared for by Miss Zoe Winters and her team in breast surgery. I have appreciated the expertise, care and consideration shown to me. Miss Winters is an excellent surgeon and her commitment to her patients is exemplary. I have been very fortunate to have been under her care".
"Having finished my cancer recurrance treatment in September 2016, I am writing to say how much I have valued the excellent care and treatment received from Miss Zoe Winters and her team throughout the year. I am extremely fortunate to have had Miss Winters' continuing expertise, care and support for the past thirteen years. She understands how women with breast cancer feel and has always listened to my concerns and acted speedily when necessary. I very much appreciate her attention to detail and knowing that there is someone who is giving her all to help you is reasurring.