14 Questions to ask your doctor about your breast cancer diagnosis

The answers you receive will help guide your treatment decisions.

After hearing your doctor say, «You have breast cancer,» it’s hard to focus on what’s next. You’re understandably scared, and your mind is probably spinning. No one is ready to have a conversation about your prognosis and medical options.

Here are 14 questions to ask your doctor. The answers you receive will help you better understand your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options.

While it is of course understandable that you want to know the right way forward as soon as possible, keep in mind that your doctor may not have all the answers right away; it may take some time to assess. But don’t be afraid to ask and follow up. The more informed you are as a patient, the more confidently and actively you can participate in your care decisions.

How big is my tumor?

The size of the tumor is another factor that will determine the course of your treatment. Your doctor uses the size of your tumor to «stage» or further categorize your cancer explained in detail below.

The dimensions of the tumor are estimated by physical examination, mammography, ultrasound, or MRI of the breast. The exact size will not be known until a pathologist studies the tumor after surgical removal.

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