What to ask

I have my second appointment next week. OH will be with me, but likely to be very emotional. I tend to be the more pragmatic one. As such, I know that we will be discussing my treatment plan, but it would be really helpful if I could have something written down to take in with me. What should I ask? What do I need to know? Thanks for your advice. Kx

What do you know already, ktk?
You will be told what the likely treatment plan will be, but there maybe other investigations needed to confirm things. For example, as my initial biopsy showed some lobular bc, so I needed a breast mri to fully check things out. If further investigations are needed, then it would be helpful to know when the results will come through & how this affects the treatment plan.
I found it useful to ask about timescales for treatment & what I needed to do about work.
They will give you all the info they have, (type of bc, grade & maybe stage) so the most important thing is to listen carefully & question anything you’re not clear about to clarify things. My OH was very good with this & asked things I didn’t think of & got clarification on certain aspects as well.
It does all fall into place eventually & feels better when everything’s confirmed.
ann x

Thank you Ann. What questions did your OH ask? It is those that don’t immediately come to mind that I think I need to think about. Thanks for your help. Kx

Thinking back, ktk, he asked about how serious it was - in my case an excellent prognosis & not life threatening - I didn’t dare ask this! Later on, why radiotherapy was necessary if the tumour had been removed; that we enjoyed a glass of wine in the evening & is this ok - the surgeon replied, don’t worry, “teetotallers get it too!” & everything in moderation; dietary needs for recovery from surgery, oh & when would I be able to mow the lawn - don’t ask?!!!, bless him.
Mine was an early mammo diagnosis, so I had minor surgery - wide local excision & did not need chemo.
I found the most important things to be clear on were timescales for treatment, what was to happen when, so that I could plan. For example, likely sick leave required post surgery.
Overall, I found the team very reassuring & listened carefully. I am a nurse by background anyway, so I was familiar with the terminology, investigations needed & what the outcome of results meant, which probably helped a bit.
Wishing you well for tomorrow
ann x

Good luck Kik - I found it helpful to ask them to write certain things down for me so that when I was at home I could go over what I had been told .It really is so hard to take in everything they tell you at the appointment and it is like learning a different language in tns beginning !

Hi Ktk,

I imagine you are still trying to take it all in but at this stage I would advise to take things one step at a time, don’t try to find out about chemo for instance because you may not need it. I have been diagnosed with Lobular cancer and have had one lumpectomy so far, due to have another on Friday because my margins are not clear but it’s helped me to concentrate on what’s happening next and not what might happen. My consultant told me straight away that no matter how I am feeling, remember it’s treatable and that has helped me keep calm, so maybe that’s a question you could ask. .

I think it also depends on what you already know, for instance, I thought chemo and radiotherapy was used to help get rid of the cancer, however, it’s used to prevent it coming back.

Apart from what type of cancer you have and when is your next appointment and what it is for, most of the answers are on this amazing site and ofcourse you can ask these lovely ladies, so don’t worry if you forget to ask questions, just come on here.

Sue x

Thanks Sue. That is really helpful. I will find out tomorrow.

Hello ktk.

When I went for my second appointment with the surgeon this was after my MRI and I had the questions for a lumpectomy and radiotherapy which was what was originally thought as the option. Unfortunately the MRI showed instead of 2 areas within the margin for a lumpectomy it was 6cm and a masectomy was discussed.


I had no questions except what I thought of at the time and what my partner questioned, although can’t now remember what he asked!


Might be worth having some ‘worse case’ questions handy just in case as it does make you feel more in c9ntrol of what is happening. I have found most of my answers on here and other good sites ie macmillan.


Good luck for tomorrow and hope all goes well.


I am off for my surgery in 2 hrs and already gasping for a cup of tea ?


Just wanted to say that I hope your operation goes well and that your results are good

Sue x

Thanks Daisy. How long was it between your second appointment and the surgery? Good luck and hugs.

Well I have come through the operation all ok, currently in bed following my op and waiting for the drugs round to have a another cup of tea then sleep.


I am lucky to have Bupa through work so have gone private after my first appointment, 1 because of quicker time and 2 I wanted a specific surgeon even though he is also an NHs surgeon.


I had my diagnosis with the oncologist on 09th March and then my first appointment with the surgeon consultant on the 14th March where it was decided to have the MRI due to the two areas of calcification and they needed to know depth etc 


Birthday on the 15th LOL


Had MRI on the 23rd and then back to see the surgeon for the 2nd appointment on the 30th where it all changed to the masectomy and a ? on what might be lurking.


And now just had surgery with the result booked for 2 weeks time…Hopefully all DCIS and nothing to discuss except when to have reconstruction but I think the surgeon is setting me up ready to accept further news heh ho can’ fault the service received so far both with the NHS and also private ( the private room is a lovely perk and hav8ng a choice of sandwich all makes it much more ‘pleasant’). 


Hope all all goes well with your next appointment xx with hugs

Thanks Kitkat and Daisiemoo. So glad to hear your positive reports and to hear that you are being well looked after after your ops. All the best for your prognoses. Kxx

Just to update. I am still waiting the results of the HER2 but have been given the option of therapeutic mammoplasty followed by chemo and radiotherapy. They will reduce my good breast at the same time. Op booked for May 8th. Guess I’ll move to the treatment forum now. Thanks for the support so far and good luck to you all. X