Questions You May Want to Ask Your Health Care Provider – Breast Cancer Diagnosis

If you need a breast biopsy

Find questions you may want to ask your health care provider before getting a breast biopsy.

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer

  • What did my breast biopsy show?
  • What kind of breast cancer do I have? What are the hormone receptor status and HER2 status of my tumor? What are the results of other tests?
  • Where in the breast did the cancer start?
  • What is the grade of my tumor? Is the breast cancer fast-growing or slow-growing?
  • How many lymph nodes were removed? How many had cancer?
  • What is the stage of my breast cancer? How does this affect my treatment options? How does it affect my chances for survival?
  • Besides the stage of my breast cancer, what other factors affect my treatment options and prognosis?
  • Will tumor profiling tests, such as Oncotype DX® or MammaPrint®, be done on the tumor tissue? If so, how will the results affect my treatment? If not, why not?
  • Do you recommend genetic testing for inherited gene mutations related to breast cancer to help plan my treatment?
  • Was the entire tumor removed? If the margins were close or positive, do I need more surgery?
  • Do I need tests to see if the cancer has spread to other organs, such as the bones, liver, lungs or brain?
  • Would you give me a copy of the pathology report and other test results?
  • Who will discuss my treatment options with me? When will I meet with them? How much time can I take to decide which treatments to have? How long will it be before treatment begins?
  • What can I do to prepare for my next appointment?
  • What do I need to consider before treatment begins if I would like to have a child after being treated for breast cancer?
  • Will my tumor be stored? Where will it be stored? For how long? How can it be accessed in the future?

If the diagnosis is metastatic breast cancer

Find questions you may want to ask your health care provider if you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

Learn more about talking with your health care provider.

Susan G. Komen® resources

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or feel too overwhelmed to know where to begin to gather information, Komen has a Questions to Ask Your Doctor When Breast Cancer is Diagnosed resource that might help.

You can download, print and write on the resource at your next doctor’s appointment. Or you can download, type and save it on your computer, tablet or phone using an app such as Adobe. Plenty of space and a notes section are provided to jot down answers to the questions.

There are other Questions to Ask Your Doctor resources on many different breast cancer topics you may wish to download.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • Do you need help? We’re here for you. The Komen Patient Care Center is your trusted, go-to source for timely, accurate breast health and breast cancer information, services and resources. Our navigators offer free, personalized support to patients, caregivers and family members, including education, emotional support, financial assistance, help accessing care and more. Get connected to a Komen navigator by contacting the Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email to get started. All calls are answered Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. ET and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Se habla español.
  • The Komen Breast Cancer and Komen Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer Facebook groups are places where those with breast cancer and their family and friends can talk with others for friendship and support.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Updated 12/27/23