Questions for Your Doctor About Breast Cancer

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This list of questions may be helpful to bring to your next appointment:

  1. What type of breast cancer do I have?
  2. What is the size of my tumor?
  3. How many lymph nodes contained cancer?
  4. Is my cancer hormone receptor-positive?
  5. What is my HER-2 status?
  6. What stage is my breast cancer?
  7. What are my breast cancer treatment options?
  8. Where can I find out about breast cancer clinical trials or other new treatments for breast cancer?
  9. What are the potential side effects of this treatment and am I at risk?
  10. How will this treatment benefit me?
  11. How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
  12. What are the expected timelines for my treatment plan?
  13. Am I a candidate for breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy)?
  14. Am I a candidate for sentinel lymph node biopsy?
  15. Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
  16. How can I ease the side effects of treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy?
  17. Am I at risk for lymphedema and, if so, how can I reduce my risk?
  18. What will my follow-up care include?
  19. How will you determine if the cancer comes back?
  20. Who do I call for questions or problems?
  21. 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:

  1. Is my breast cancer hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor-negative?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of aromatase inhibitors (AIs)?
  3. What are the benefits and risks of tamoxifen?
  4. How do the side effects of AIs compare with tamoxifen?
  5. How many years of adjuvant hormone therapy do I need?
  6. Are there any reasons to believe I might not benefit from adjuvant hormone therapy?
  7. Are you sure that I am menopausal?

For women who have completed 2-3 years of tamoxifen therapy:

  1. Is there a reason I should switch to an AI?
  2. How many more years of hormone therapy would I need if I continue to take tamoxifen?
  3. How many more years of hormone therapy would I need if I switch to an AI?
  4. How will the side effects change if I switch to an AI?

For women who have completed 5 years of tamoxifen therapy:

  1. Based on my risk of recurrence, do you recommend further hormone therapy with an AI?
  2. What are the possible side effects if I continue therapy with an AI?
  3. 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.