Will you do a sentinel node biopsy? During surgery?
Will I need to have more lymph nodes removed? How will that decision be made?
If my sentinel lymph nodes are positive, will I need an axillary dissection?
Can I have a lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery) plus radiation therapy?
Will chemotherapy, targeted therapy and/or hormone therapy before surgery improve my chances of being able to have a lumpectomy?
With my family history, is a lumpectomy a good choice, or do I have a high risk of developing another cancer in the remaining breast tissue or the other breast?
If I have a lumpectomy, when will I meet with a radiation oncologist to discuss radiation therapy?
Do you have experience with skin and nipple sparing mastectomies? How many have you done last year? Am I a good case for that?
How long will I be in the hospital?
Will I need someone to help me when I return home from the hospital?
How should I expect to feel after the surgery?
What limits will I have on my normal activities?
Where will the surgical scar(s) be?
Will I have any numbness after the surgery?
Will I have a surgical drain in place when I go home? If so, how will I care for it? When will it be removed?
What side effects might I expect after surgery? What problems should I report to you right away?
How does the removal of lymph nodes affect my chances of getting lymphedema?
What are the long-term risks of problems or side effects from surgery?
When should I return for follow-up?
Who will discuss the findings of my final pathology report with me? Can I get a copy of the report for my records?
How long after surgery will I begin the other treatment(s)? Who will coordinate my care?
How does my surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) affect my risk of having a breast cancer recurrence, metastasis or a new breast cancer? Please explain the differences to me.
What is the rate for corrective, secondary surgeries after both lumpectomy and mastectomy?
If I decide for lumpectomy and radiation, then have a local recurrence and decide for a mastectomy, will the previous radiation pose a problem for the surgery?
Tell me about breast reconstruction. If I decide I want reconstruction, when can I have it (at the same time as the mastectomy or at a later date)? What are the risks? What about prosthesis options? Who else should I see to discuss and plan for reconstruction or prosthesis? Do you have a plastic surgeon you like to work with?
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?