YSC 15th Anniversary Lists - August 2013

Hearing the words “you have breast cancer” can be scary and intimidating. You may have a million questions for your doctor — but where do you begin? To make these first days more manageable, we have composed a list of 15 questions to start the conversation.

Don’t worry if you aren’t clear about something. Write everything down and give yourself time to review your notes. YSC’s Newly Diagnosed Resource Kit (NDRK), a FREE resource, provides information about your disease including term definitions and questions to ask your medical team as well as a binder to assist you with organizing test results, bills and other essential documents.

Remember that you should always feel comfortable seeking a second opinion and discussing your options with more than one healthcare provider.

Check back on the 15th of each month to see 15 new facts or tips! Read more about our 15th anniversary lists here.


15 Questions To Ask your Doctor When You’re Newly Diagnosed

What type of breast cancer do I have? For example:
  • Invasive or in situ (contained within the duct or lobule)
  • Local/regional/distant
  • Positive for estrogen receptor (ER+), progesterone receptor (PR+) or HER2 (positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2)?
  • Or am I considered Triple Negative (breast cancer that does not test positive for any of the above receptors)?
  • Inflammatory (developed from cells that line the milk ducts of the breast and then spread beyond the ducts)?

Can you explain ALL of the terms in my pathology report and can I have a copy of my report?

Are there any other tests I need or should consider at this time? (including genetic testing)

What treatment options are you recommending and why? (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy or a combination)

Do I need a mastectomy? If so, and I choose to undergo reconstruction would you recommend breast reconstruction immediately following the mastectomy?

Will treatment affect my future fertility? What are my options for fertility preservation? 
Can you refer me to other doctors I might need?  
What are the potential risks and side effects of the proposed treatments?
What is the timing and order of my proposed treatment plan?
Can I explore complementary treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy during treatment? If so, can you recommend a facility?
Should I have someone accompany me to treatment and will I need to take time off work? 
How much time can I take before making a decision about surgery?

Who in this office can help with questions about health insurance?
Are there clinical trials for which I might be eligible?  
Do you have a social worker or counselor here that I can consult if needed to talk about how to tell my family or discuss my concerns?  


Did You Know?

YSC’s Newly Diagnosed Resource Kit was launched in 2005 as a pilot program in Atlanta, Ga. The program was rolled out nationally in 2009, with the addition of a comprehensive Treatment Navigator to help keep track of everything from conversations and questions to bills and test results. Order a FREE copy online, email resourcelink@youngsurvival.org  or call 877.YSC.1011 (877.972.1011).

15th Anniversary Lists

In 2013, Young Survival Coalition celebrates 15 years of supporting women 40 and under affected by breast cancer. In the tradition of its founders, YSC pioneers research, information about treatment options and helps with the challenges and frustrations young women face when diagnosed. As the first organization to recognize these needs, YSC will be highlighting its accomplishments as well as the cancer community’s each month in a new "15 Facts" or "15 Tips" list. Please check back each month to learn something new.