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NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Breast Cancer – Metastatic (STAGE IV), Version 2.2017

40

4

Making treatment decisions

Questions to ask your doctors

Questions to ask your doctors

You may meet with experts from different fields of medicine. Strive to have helpful talks with each person.

Prepare questions before your visit and ask questions if the person isn’t clear. You can also record your

talks and get copies of your medical records. It may be helpful to have your spouse, partner, or a friend

with you at these visits. A patient advocate or navigator might also be able to come. They can help to ask

questions and remember what was said. Suggested questions to ask include:

What’s my diagnosis and prognosis?

It’s important to know that there are different types of cancer. Cancer can greatly differ even when people

have a tumor in the same organ. Based on your test results, your doctors can tell you which type of

cancer you have. He or she can also give a prognosis. A prognosis is a prediction of the pattern and

outcome of a disease. Knowing the prognosis may affect what you decide about treatment.

1. Where did the cancer start? In what type of cell? Is this cancer common?

2. Is this a fast- or slow-growing breast cancer?

3. What tests do you recommend for me?

4. My first breast cancer was years ago. Should I get a biopsy of my metastatic disease? If no, why not?

5. Where will the tests take place? How long will the tests take and will any test hurt?

6. What if I am pregnant?

7. How do I prepare for testing?

8. Should I bring a list of my medications?

9. Should I bring someone with me?

10. How often are these tests wrong?

11. Would you give me a copy of the pathology report and other test results?

12. Who will talk with me about the next steps? When?