21 Questions to Ask Your Doctor after Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW, speaks publicly and writes about her experience on her award-winning blog, TheSilverPen.com. She is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, BreastCancer.org, Susan G. Komen, and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Army of Women Blog. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her family.

BreastCancerAwarenesss_400After being tested for breast cancer, you’ll want to ask these 21 questions from The Silver Lining: A Supportive & Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer at the time of your diagnosis.

1. What type of breast cancer do I have? What is my exact diagnosis?

2. Can the stage of my breast cancer be determined?

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3. Would you explain my pathology report to me?

4. May I have a copy of my pathology report and your doctor notes for my records?

5. Do I have a genetic mutation (BRCA1 or BRCA2)?

6. Do I need any more tests?

7. Has the cancer metastasized (spread to any other site)? If so, where?

8. What treatment options are available for me?

9. What is the timing of the treatments?

10. How quickly do I need to make a decision about cancer treatment?

11. What are the benefits and potential side effects of each treatment you recommend?

12. Will treatments affect my fertility? If so, what can I do before beginning

13. Is there one treatment you recommend over the others?

14. How will each treatment affect my daily life?

15. Can I work during treatment?

16. What will cancer treatment cost?

17. Do you have any oncology or surgical doctor referrals?

18. Will my insurance cover second opinions and treatment?

19. Where can I learn more about my diagnosis (e.g., websites and books)?

20. What support services do you recommend?

21. What is my hormone receptor status?

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