Twenty Questions to ask about your Surgeon

August 3, 2011

How to know if you're getting good advice about Breast Disease and Breast Cancer

1) well informed about possible alternatives to a surgical biopsy including image-guided biopsy?__ Yes__ No
2) given an accurate description of your breast following the surgical procedure?__ Yes__ No
3) offered a meaningful interpretation of pathology results including possible predictors of future breast cancer ?__ Yes__ No
4) instructed in the need for future follow-up with either your surgeon or your primary physician?__ Yes__ No
5) told when to obtain your next mammogram?__ Yes__ No
6) well-informed about breast conservation and alternatives to mastectomy?__ Yes__ No
7) offered sentinel node biopsy as an alternative to surgical removal of multiple levels of lymph nodes under the arm ( axillary node dissection)?__ Yes__ No
8) thus advised and was the sentinel node mapping and biopsy successful in identifying the lymph node(s) most likely to contain metastatic cancer cells?__ Yes__ No
9) advised about the possibility of arm swelling (lymphedema) after removal of underarm lymph nodes?__ Yes__ No
10) clearly informed about the need for additional treatment after surgery including radiotherapy?__ Yes__ No
11) and including systemic chemotherapy?__ Yes__ No
12) advised about the risk for recurrence or re-occurrence within the breast treated for breast cancer?__ Yes__ No
13) advised about the risk for recurrence of the cancer in other organs of the body (metastasis)?__ Yes__ No
14) offered breast reconstruction of the breast following mastectomy?__ Yes__ No
15) advised about the risk for a second cancer in the opposite or remaining breast?__ Yes__ No
16) informed about genetic tests for familial breast cancer?__ Yes__ No
17) advised about the controversy regarding the continued use of hormone replacement therapy after the diagnosis of breast cancer?__ Yes__ No
18) informed about preventive measures or medications that prevent future new breast cancers?__ Yes__ No
19) instructed how to enroll in clinical trials testing drugs and other measures for the prevention of future new breast cancers?__ Yes__ No
20) informed about the availability of focus groups devoted to the emotional and spiritual support of women with breast cancer?__ Yes__ No
My age is:__20-50__50-65__>65

References:

This questionnaire prepared by W. Lee Bourland, Jr. MD for General Surgery Associates of North Texas (GSANT), and is restricted for the use of GSANT members except with written consent from Dr. Bourland.