It is critically important for you to clearly understand your diagnosis and the proposed treatment. Start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms that worry you. If your doctor thinks you may have breast cancer, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating cancer (oncologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there’s often a lot of ground to cover, it’s a good idea to be well prepared. Here’s some information to help you get ready and what to expect from your doctor.
Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you’re taking.
Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
Write down questions to ask your doctor including:
- Has the cancer spread beyond the primary site? If so, where?
- What tests did you use to determine the diagnosis?
- Is there any indication that a second pathology report is needed?
- Are you recommending additional tests?
- How certain are you that the tests and the resulting diagnosis are accurate
- What are my treatment options? Which one(s) do you recommend?
- Whom would you recommend for a second opinion?
- Will you put me in touch with patients whom you have successfully treated?
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- Has my cancer spread beyond the breast?