People often overlook health care providers as an important source of social support. From patient navigators and social workers, to surgeons and oncology nurses, health care providers can offer a wealth of information, hope and advice.
These sources are often left untapped due to problems with patient-provider communication. People may feel too embarrassed or rushed to ask questions, or they simply may not know which questions to ask. And, sometimes, providers may seem too busy to help. Fortunately, there are resources to help you improve communication with your health care team.
Talking to health care providers
Our “Talking with Your Doctor” fact sheet outlines a series of steps to help you communicate more effectively with your providers. Our “Questions to Ask the Doctor” topic cards have specific questions to ask your providers. You can also visit Talking to Your Health Care Provider for more information and links to questions for providers found throughout Understanding Breast Cancer.
Depression and professional help
Thirty to 50 percent of breast cancer survivors may, at some point, have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other forms of severe distress [2,19]. If you have these feelings, share them with your health care provider. He/she can help you directly or refer you to a provider who can.
Learn more about depression.