© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Regular communication with your doctor is important in making informed decisions about your health care. Consider asking the following questions of your doctor:
- What type of breast cancer do I have?
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
- What are my options for treatment?
- What clinical trials are open to me?
- Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
- Who is going to help coordinate my treatment and follow-up care?
- What treatment do you recommend? Why?
- What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
- If I'm worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
- Could this treatment affect my fertility (ability to have children in the future)? If so, are there other treatments available that do not pose as high a risk to my fertility but are equally effective?
- What are the chances that the cancer be successfully treated?
- How can I keep myself as healthy as possible during treatment?
- Now that you have examined me, am I a good candidate for reconstruction?
- What types of breast reconstruction options do I have?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
- What are the chances the cancer will come back after treatment?
- Whom do I call for questions or problems?
- What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
- What support services are available to me? To my family?
For additional questions, see the Guide to Breast Cancer.