...when a lump is discovered:
For a more complete list of subjects to ask the doctor about (biopsy, radiation, diagnosis, chemotherapy, treatment, hormone, therapy, surgery, etc.), see Breast Cancer Answers for People with Breast Cancer Concerns (http://www.medsch.wisc.edu/bca/ques.html)
...when the biopsy reveals malignancy:
- May I have a copy of the radiologist's report?
- May I examine the x-rays?
- Is the magnification the same in all the x-rays?
- Since it is a non-palpable lump, do you know the depth? Do you know the location from the mammogram?
- When a wire is inserted to identify the location of the tumor, does it enter the tumor?
- When the tumor is excised, does the wire remain in the tumor during excision?
- How long is it safe to delay the surgery/biopsy while I decide on the different aspects involved?
- With what rapidity does this malignancy tend to progress? (i.e., is it rapid growing or slow growing?)
- As you see it, what are the treatment options for me?
- What are the advantages and cautions of each of these treatments?
- How would you rank these options in my case?
- Is a lumpectomy a viable option?
- Why would a mastectomy be considered?
- Would reconstruction of the breast be done at the time of mastectomy?
- Would you consider a tram-flap reconstruction using my own tissue?