questions for patients from carers viewpoint


I have a family member who has very recently been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer - i don’t know the exact in’s and out’s in terms of location etc but i do know i will likely be their primary support person. My understanding so far is neoadjuvant chemo has been discussed with view to surgery though i will be getting a proper update later when we meet face to face. My main thinking is apart from the obvious role in listening, i should also be there to help think critically and help act as an advocate so there is a lot i feel needs to be asked. 

I understand this is going to be very different depending on where in the world you are but things that seem important to know right now are:

-how open has your medical oncologist been about prognosis?

-how do you know if your oncologist and their team are any good? Is this just something you get a feel for? over how long? what if they are not?

-do people go for second opinions on treatment plans or just trust the team knows what they are doing? or to put another way what would prompt a second opinion on treatment if anyone has had one

-how much support psychologically should be expected along the way?

-how much education / advice have you had on treatment options / what should be expected?

-how much of a say have you had in treatment?

-anything else missing that i should be thinking about?

I feel like these are the important things that will need to be discussed at some point and want to prepare as much as i can.

Very grateful for any advice anyone can give, also fully respect everyone here for sharing their experiences and staying strong through tough times. Ive spent the past couple of days reading through peoples experiences and some of the stuff has made me feel very sad but also very inspired with how brave you guys are.

Hi concerned _carer

Thank you for posting here on the Forum and sorry that you havent received a response yet.  You may find more people reading the I am recently diagnosed area of the Forum and other users may be able to share more of their own experiences.  Also, our expert nurses may be able to help answer some of your questions, either in the Ask Our Nurses section of the Forum or through our free Helpline, 0808 800 6000.  If you are not in the UK however, please call (+44)2076200077.

Please do ask any and all questions here, someone will be able to offer you support and hopefully some answers.

Best wishes
Digital Community Officer