Questions you may wish to ask

General questions

  1. What type of cancer do I have?

  2. How extensive is my cancer? What stage is it?

  3. What treatment do you advise for my cancer and why?

  4. Are there other treatment choices for me?

  5. What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?

  6. How long will the treatment take?

  7. I would like to have a second opinion. Can you refer me to someone else? It is your right to do so.

  8. Is there any cost for treatment?

  9. If I choose not to have treatment either now or in the future, what services are available to help me?

  10. Is my cancer hereditary?

  11. Can you suggest any books I can read on breast cancer?

If you are going to have surgery

  1. What will the scar look like?

  2. Can I have breast reconstruction?

  3. When can I drive again?

  4. How much does a prosthesis cost and will I be eligible for a free prosthesis?

  5. Is there a risk of lymphoedema?

Seeing the oncologist

  1. If I need further treatment, what will it be like and when will it begin?

  2. Will I still be able to have children?

  3. Will I go through menopause? What are the effects of menopause?

  4. Will the treatment affect my sexual relationships?

  5. When can I return to work?

  6. How frequent will my check-ups be and what will they involve?

If you receive answers you do not understand, feel comfortable saying:

  • “Can you explain that again?”

  • “I am not sure what you mean.” or

  • “Would you draw a diagram, or write it down?”