Understanding her diagnosis
You will meet with doctors and have tests to understand her breast cancer treatment options and to make a plan for treatments.
By now (or very soon), you should have learned about the tumor’s grade, stage, hormone receptivity, and if the HER2 gene is present.
You will also need to schedule surgery soon, but you don’t need to rush it. Typically, cancer is slow growing. It’s often better to have some time before her surgery so you can understand her unique situation and treatment options. That way, you can make the best decisions. In my case, my wife scheduled her surgery five weeks out after her diagnosis, then set appointments with her doctor team to form our exact game plan.
For us, the biggest decision for surgery was to get a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
Survival rates show that there is little difference between lumpectomy vs mastectomy.
What questions to ask as you plan
It’s important to hit the balance of researching enough to be well equipped but not to get caught up in over-researching. Your goal with research is to learn enough information to ask the right questions to your doctor team.
Here are some questions you’ll want to answer in your first few appointments:
- What kinds of treatment are involved?
- Is chemotherapy recommended?
- Is lumpectomy or mastectomy better for our case?
- Will reconstructive surgery be needed?
- What other types of testing can we expect?
- How will this affect our plans on having children (if you were planning)?
- Other questions you could ask