Questions for Your Doctor About Breast Cancer
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This list of questions may be helpful to bring to your next appointment:
- What type of breast cancer do I have?
- What is the size of my tumor?
- How many lymph nodes contained cancer?
- Is my cancer hormone receptor-positive?
- What is my HER-2 status?
- What stage is my breast cancer?
- What are my breast cancer treatment options?
- Where can I find out about breast cancer clinical trials or other new treatments for breast cancer?
- What are the potential side effects of this treatment and am I at risk?
- How will this treatment benefit me?
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
- What are the expected timelines for my treatment plan?
- Am I a candidate for breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy)?
- Am I a candidate for sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
- How can I ease the side effects of treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy?
- Am I at risk for lymphedema and, if so, how can I reduce my risk?
- What will my follow-up care include?
- How will you determine if the cancer comes back?
- Who do I call for questions or problems?
- Who can I contact for emotional, supportive help for myself and/or my family?
For women who are considering adjuvant (additional) therapy for breast cancer:
- Is my breast cancer hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor-negative?
- What are the benefits and risks of aromatase inhibitors (AIs)?
- What are the benefits and risks of tamoxifen?
- How do the side effects of AIs compare with tamoxifen?
- How many years of adjuvant hormone therapy do I need?
- Are there any reasons to believe I might not benefit from adjuvant hormone therapy?
- Are you sure that I am menopausal?
For women who have completed 2-3 years of tamoxifen therapy:
- Is there a reason I should switch to an AI?
- How many more years of hormone therapy would I need if I continue to take tamoxifen?
- How many more years of hormone therapy would I need if I switch to an AI?
- How will the side effects change if I switch to an AI?
For women who have completed 5 years of tamoxifen therapy:
- Based on my risk of recurrence, do you recommend further hormone therapy with an AI?
- What are the possible side effects if I continue therapy with an AI?
- How many years would I continue AI therapy?
For more information about breast cancer treatment and prevention at Fox Chase Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427). The breast cancer scheduling department can be reached at 215-728-3001.