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Questions for Your Provider - Diagnosis

 

 

Questions to ask your doctor about breast biopsy
Topic Card

Preparing for a biopsy

  • What type of biopsy will I have? Why? How reliable are the results of this type of biopsy?
  • Will the lymph nodes be sampled?
  • 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/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 estrogen and progesterone receptor tests be done? Her2/neu? Others?
  • When will I get the pathology results?
  • Where will the biopsy scar be?
  • Are there any after effects of the biopsy? If so, what are they?
  • What medications should I avoid before the biopsy, and for how long? When can I resume my usual medications?
  • When will I be able to return to my normal routine?
  • If cancer is found, who will talk with me about my treatment options? How much time can I take to decide what type of treatment to have? How long will it be before treatment begins?
  • 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? To learn more about breast pathology practices, read our report.

Learn more about talking to your health care provider.  

 

Questions to ask your doctor about breast cancer diagnosis
Topic Card   

 

Getting your biopsy results and understanding the diagnosis

  • What did my biopsy show?
  • What kind of breast cancer do I have? What are the stage and grade?
  • How many lymph nodes were removed? How many were positive for cancer?
  • What are the estrogen and progesterone receptor status of my tumor? What is the HER2/neu status? What are the results of other tests?
  • Will other special tests (such as Oncotype Dx or proliferation rate) 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?
  • What other tests should I have to see if the cancer has spread to other organs (such as bones, liver or lungs)?
  • 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? To learn more about breast pathology practices, read our report.

Learn more about talking to your health care provider. 

Cancer stages

  • How does the stage of my cancer affect my treatment options?
  • How does the stage of my cancer affect my chances for survival?
  • Besides my cancer stage, what other factors should I know about that affect my treatment and prognosis? 

Learn more about talking to your health care provider.

Updated 10/23/13

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