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Breast Cancer Questions

Following a breast cancer diagnosis, we know you and your family will have several questions. It’s important to talk openly with your physicians and get all the information you need to make informed decisions about your care.

Breast cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases. No two breast cancers are really the same. That is why individualized treatment is so important.

To help you prepare for your appointments, below are some sample questions to ask your physician and help you better understand your situation and options. Don’t be afraid to take notes and tell your breast care team when you don’t understand. It’s your body and your breasts. Download the Questions Here.

  1. What kind of breast cancer do I have?
  2. What is the grade and prognostic markers for my breast cancer?
  3. Why won't I know the stage of my breast cancer until after surgery?
  4. Were any marker tests done on my tumor? If so, what were the results? How do these results affect my treatment options?
  5. What type of doctors should I see? When should I see them?
  6. How can I get a copy of my pathology report?
  7. Will my lymph nodes (located under the arm) be removed?
  8. What tests will I have before surgery to see if the cancer has spread to any other organs?
  9. When will the tests be done?
  10. What is my prognosis (chance for recovery from treatment)?
  11. What are the chances that my cancer will come back or that I will develop another type of cancer?
  12. How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  13. Will I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  14. What are my treatment choices?
  15. What treatment do you recommend and why?
  16. Should I get a second opinion? How do I do that?
  17. What support resources are there in the community, and at Hoag?

As an ongoing resource, the Susan G. Komen web site has question cards containing specific questions that cover various breast cancer topics.