Questions you may wish to ask
- What type of cancer do I have?
- How extensive is my cancer? What stage is it?
- What treatment do you advise for my cancer and why?
- Are there other treatment choices for me?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- How long will the treatment take?
- I would like to have a second opinion. Can you refer me to someone else? [This is your right.]
- How much will treatment cost?
- How frequent will my check-ups be and what will they involve?
- If I choose not to have treatment either now or in the future, what services are available to help me?
- Is my cancer hereditary?
- Can you suggest any books I can read on breast cancer?
- What will the scar look like?
- Can I have breast reconstruction?
- When can I drive again?
- How much does a prosthesis cost, and will I be eligible for a free prosthesis?
- Is there a risk of lymphoedema? (be specific)
- If I need further treatment, what will it be like and when will it begin?
- Will I still be able to have children?
- Will I go through menopause and what are the effects of menopause?
- Will the treatment affect my sexual relationships?
- When can I return to work?
If you receive answers you do not understand, feel comfortable in saying:
“Can you explain that again?”
“I am not sure what you mean” or
“Would you draw a diagram, or write it down?”
This booklet is for women with early breast cancer. For women with secondary breast cancer, the Cancer Society has published a booklet Secondary Breast Cancer/Matepukupuku Tuarua ā -Ū: A guide for women with secondary breast cancer. This can be obtained via our website.