QUESTIONS FOR YOUR PROVIDER – DIAGNOSIS

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR PROVIDER – DIAGNOSIS

Before your biopsy

    • What type of biopsy will I have? Why? How reliable are the results of this type of biopsy?
    • Will my lymph nodes be sampled? If so, will a sentinel node biopsy be done? If not, why not?
    • How often does the radiologist or surgeon perform the type of biopsy I will have? Does he or she specialize in breast cancer?
    • How long will the biopsy take?
    • Will I be awake during the biopsy? Can it be done in your office or will I need to go to the hospital?
    • If I have a needle biopsy, who will evaluate the samples? How much experience does that person have with breast cancer? Will a cytopathologist be needed?
    • Will hormone receptor status and HER2 status tests be done? Others?
    • What medications should I avoid before the biopsy, and for how long? When can I resume my usual medications?
    • When will I get the pathology results?
    • Where will the biopsy scar be?
    • What side effects might I expect after the biopsy? What problems should I report to you?
    • When will I be able to return to my normal routine?
    • Will the tissue removed during my biopsy be X-rayed to make sure all of the suspicious tissue was removed?
    • Will my tumor be saved? Where will it be stored? For how long? How can it be accessed in the future?

Learn more about talking with your health care provider.

It may be helpful to download and print Susan G. Komen®’s Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Breast Biopsies card and take it with you to your next appointment. There’s plenty of space to jot down the answers to these questions, which you can refer back to later.

You can also download our other Questions to Ask Your Doctor cards on many different breast cancer topics.

Understanding your breast cancer diagnosis

    • What did my biopsy show?
    • What kind of breast cancer do I have? What are the stage and grade?
    • How does the stage of my breast cancer affect my treatment options?
    • How does the stage of my breast cancer affect my chances for survival?
    • Besides my breast cancer stage, what other factors affect my treatment and prognosis?
    • How many lymph nodes were removed? How many had cancer?
    • What are the hormone receptor status and HER2 status of my tumor? What are the results of other tests?
    • Will other special tests (such as Oncotype DX®, PAM50 (Prosigna®) or MammaPrint®) be done on the tissue?
    • Was the entire tumor removed? Were the margins close or positive? If they were close, do I need more surgery?
    • Do I need other tests to see if the cancer has spread to other organs (such as the bones, liver, lungs or brain)?
    • Who will discuss my treatment options with me? How much time can I take to decide what type of treatment to have? How long will it be before treatment begins?
    • What do I need to consider before treatment begins if I would like to have a child after I have been treated for breast cancer?
    • Will my tumor be saved? Where will it be stored? For how long? How can it be accessed in the future?

Learn more about talking with your health care provider.

If you have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or feel too overwhelmed to know where to begin to gather information, Susan G. Komen® has a Questions to Ask Your Doctor card about breast cancer diagnosis. It may be helpful for you to print this card and take it with you to your next appointment. There’s plenty of space to jot down the answers to these questions, which you can refer back to later.

You can also download our other Questions to Ask Your Doctor cards on many different breast cancer topics.

 

Updated 11/09/2017