I've just been diagnosed

As you find out more about your diagnosis, it can be helpful to keep a checklist of the information you gather, the questions you have, and the steps you need to take. The more you know, the better prepared you are to make informed decisions about your care.

Learn about:

Questions to ask your doctor:

Choosing a Treatment Facility

You owe it to yourself to find the finest care available for the type of cancer you have. Learn more in Your Guide to Cancer Care.

  • What kind of breast cancer do I have? Is it invasive or non-invasive (in situ)?
  • What stage is my cancer? Has it spread to my lymph nodes or other parts of my body?
  • What kinds of tests were performed on the cancer? Has it been tested for estrogen or progesterone receptivity? Is it HER2/neu-negative or -positive? How do the results of these tests affect my treatment options and my chances of recovery?
  • Did a breast pathologist write my pathology report? May I have a copy of it?

Next steps

Smart Moves

You’re likely to come across conflicting information as you research your diagnosis and visit online cancer communities. That’s why it’s best to think about what you learn as a springboard to meaningful conversations about your treatment with your doctors and other caregivers.

1. Get a second opinion about your diagnosis. The best course of treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis. You’ll want to make sure that there are no differences of opinion about how to interpret the results of your diagnostic tests. Learn more about getting a second opinion.

2. Learn about your cancer. You can participate more fully in treatment decisions by learning about your diagnosis, the latest therapies, and the cancer facilities that provide the kind of care you’d like to have.

3. Reach out to other patients and survivors. From in-person support groups to online message boards, there is a huge variety of resources available to help put you in touch with people who know first-hand what you are going through.

Get Informed

Learn how to evaluate the quality of online information and websites in Your Guide to Cancer Care.

4. Say “yes” to friends’ and loved ones’ offers to help. It’s important to learn to accept the support of family members or close friends — from rides to appointments to help with household chores. If you have difficulty accepting help yourself, ask someone close to you to coordinate your support team.

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