If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you are probably experiencing a range of feelings, from shock and disbelief to sadness and fear. You may also have many questions about what’s next. Remember that you are not alone – many support services can help you during this difficult time.
One of the most important decisions you will have to make is choosing a surgeon. This is someone who will be by your side through a very delicate and personal process, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with him or her.
50 Questions to ask a surgeon about if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer:
- What experience do you have treating breast cancer?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you have any financial assistance programs that can help me with the cost of treatment?
- Who can I contact if I have further questions or need assistance outside of our appointments together?
- What type of breast cancer do I have?
- What stage is my breast cancer at?
- What is the size of the tumor?
- How many lymph nodes are affected?
- Has the cancer spread to other parts of the body?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the side effects of each treatment option?
- What is your recommendation for treatment?
- How will the treatment affect my quality of life?
- What are the chances of the cancer will recur after treatment?
- How often will I need to come in for follow-up appointments?
- What can I do to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back?
- What are the signs and symptoms of cancer recurrence?
- Will I need radiation therapy?
- Will I need chemotherapy?
- How long will the treatment last?
- What is the goal of the treatment?
- What are the risks and complications associated with each treatment option?
- How likely is it that I will experience these complications?
- How long will the surgery take?
- How much will the surgery cost?
- How long will I stay in the hospital?
- What are the risks of surgery?
- Will I need to have any other treatments after the operation?
- When can I expect the results of the surgery?
- What are the long-term side effects of the surgery?
- What are my chances of survival?
- What is the recurrence rate for my particular type and stage of breast cancer?
- What treatment options do I have if the cancer comes back?
- Will I need more surgeries in the future?
- How will it affect my appearance?
- Will I have a scar after the surgery?
- Can you refer me to a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction?
- What are my fertility options before and after treatment?
- Will I be able to breastfeed after the treatment?
- How will the treatment affect my ability to work and take care of my family?
- How often will I need to see the surgeon for follow-up appointments?
- Can you refer me to a support group or counselor who can help me deal with this diagnosis?
- Do you have any educational materials that I can take home?
- What are my chances of surviving five years or more?
- What are my chances of surviving 10 years or longer?
- How can I reduce my risk of developing lymphedema?
- What are the signs and symptoms of lymphedema?
- How can I reduce my risk of developing secondary cancers?
- What are the signs and symptoms of secondary cancers?
- What type of anesthesia will be used during the surgery?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first step after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
The first step after a breast cancer diagnosis is to consult a doctor to determine the best treatment plan. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. It is important to get treatment as soon as possible to improve your chances of success.
How do you prepare for breast surgery?
There are a few things you can do to prepare for breast surgery. First, talk to your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking, as some may need to be stopped before surgery. You will also need to stop smoking and drinking alcohol. And be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on what to eat and drink before and after surgery. Finally, make sure you have everything you need for postoperative care.
These are just a few examples of questions you might want to ask your surgeon at your consultation appointment. It is important that you feel comfortable asking questions and that you understand all of your options before making a treatment decision. Remember that you are not alone – there are many resources available to help you through this process.
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