Questions You May Want to Ask Your Health Care Provider About Your Diagnosis

Most early-stage breast cancers in the U.S. are found with screening mammography, before any warning signs or symptoms appear.

However, breast cancer also is found when there are warning signs. So, it’s important to be aware of these warning signs and see a health care provider if you notice any breast changes.

  1. What did my biopsy show?
  2. What kind of breast cancer do I have? What are the hormone receptor status and HER2 status of my tumor? What are the results of other tests?
  3. Where in the breast did the cancer start?
  4. What is the grade of my tumor? Is the breast cancer fast-growing or slow-growing?
  5. How many lymph nodes were removed? How many had cancer?

  6. What is the stage of my breast cancer? How does this affect my treatment options? How does it affect my chances for survival?
  7. Besides the stage of my breast cancer, what other factors affect my treatment options and prognosis?
  8. Will tumor profiling tests, such as Oncotype DX®, PAM50 (Prosigna®) or MammaPrint®, be done on the tumor tissue? If so, how will the results affect my treatment? If not, why not?
  9. Was the entire tumor removed? Were the margins close or positive? Do I need more surgery?
  10. Do I need tests to see if the cancer has spread to other organs (such as the bones, liver, lungs or brain)?
  11. Would you give me a copy of the pathology report and other test results?
  12. Who will discuss my treatment options with me? When will I meet with them? How much time can I take to decide what type
  13. of treatment to have? How long will it be before treatment begins?
  14. What can I do to prepare for my next appointment?
  15. What do I need to consider before treatment begins if I would like to have a child after being treated for breast cancer?
  16. Will my tumor be saved? Where will it be stored? For how long? How can it be accessed in the future?


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