During routine visits, ask about:
* When and how often you need to do the self-breast exam (SBE)
* The correct technique for doing a SBE
* How often you need to have the office breast exam done
* Mammography, when it’s needed and what it detects
* Any abnormal findings on your SBE or the exam in the office done by the doctor
If you find a breast lump or other abnormality, ask…
* Is the finding normal or does it require more investigation?
* If a mammogram is needed, and what it may show.
* If you will need a biopsy.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, ask your doctor…
* To go over the biopsy report, and ask what it all means
* To explain what tests you can expect and to describe the staging process
* To explain the treatment options and which may be most appropriate
* Whether you can continue with work or your usual routine while I’m in treatment
* To tell you about any clinical trials that may help
* How to manage pain and discomfort due to the treatments as well as the breast cancer itself
* Whether he/she can recommend support groups or counseling
You will probably have a lot of questions as treatment progresses. Stress, medication, and other factors can make it difficult to remember everything you want ask your doctor during visits. It’s a good idea to keep a pen and paper handy at home and write down questions that pop up during the day. Members of your family may have questions for the doctor too.