Before Your Visit

After you make an appointment for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, there are some steps you can take to make your visit a smooth one.

  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the doctor's appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Write down your family history of cancer. Note any family members who have had cancer, including how each member is related to you, the type of cancer, the age at diagnosis and whether each person survived.
  • Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Keep all of your records that relate to your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Organize your records in a binder or folder that you can take to your appointments.
  • Consider taking a family member or friend along to help you remember important information and provide emotional support.

Questions to Ask You Doctor About Breast Cancer

Review the following list of concerns about breast cancer before your appointment. You can also print it out to take with you when you visit your doctor.

Questions About My Diagnosis

  • What type of breast cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Can you explain my pathology report to me? Can I have a copy for my records?
  • Do I need any more tests?

Questions About My Treatment

  • What treatment options are available for me?
  • What are the benefits from each treatment you recommend? What are the side effects?
  • Will treatment cause menopause?
  • How will each treatment affect my daily life? Can I continue working?
  • How quickly do I need to make a decision about cancer treatment? What if I don’t want cancer treatment?
  • What will cancer treatment cost? Does my insurance plan cover the tests and treatment you’re recommending?
  • Should I seek a second opinion? Will my insurance cover it?
  • Will I need a psychiatrist to calm my anxiety and fears?

Questions About My Lifestyle and Family

  • Do my children have an increased risk of developing breast cancer?
  • How will side effects from treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites or books do you recommend?
  • How will breast cancer affect my professional life?
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