Questions To Ask Your Surgeon About Breast Cancer

Woman hand checking lumps on her breast for signs of breast cancer.

There are many areas that breast surgeons can assist in, any thing from breast implants to helping you deal with breast cancer. Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a difficult and scary time for not only you but also your family. But the good news is that treatment has advanced a lot over the past decade, and if caught early, survival rates are a lot higher.

This doesn’t mean that things won’t change though. If diagnosed with breast cancer, it is important you consult with a breast surgeon in Mount Waverly, as some of the options available to you are to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. This is a serious operation and you want to find the best breast surgeon in Mount Waverly to assist you as you try to find a new normal in your life.

Before you choose which option you want to take, it is important to ask your surgeon a few questions, so you fully understand the process that is about to take place:

Which treatment is best for me?

Every situation is different, and at the end of the day it is your choice, but it is important to listen to your breast surgeon as they can offer professional guidance and put together a personalised treatment plan for you. Your treatment plan will greatly depend on the stage the cancer is in.

If your cancer has been caught early (i.e. stage 1 or 2) then there are a lot of studies that suggest having a lumpectomy then radiation is one of the best options. This is because it offers you the same chance of recurrence as well as survival as people getting a mastectomy would get, and obviously the lumpectomy is much less invasive.

Why are you having a lumpectomy and not a mastectomy (vice versa)?

Breast surgeon in Mount Waverly examines a patient

Sometimes the option for one is simply not available for the patient. For example a lumpectomy (which is a surgery just to remove the cancer, but save the breast) is not a viable option due to the size of the cancer, as it will dramatically change the appearance of the breast.

Sometimes women will opt for a mastectomy, or even a double mastectomy (which is the removal of the entire breast) to limit the chances of the cancer coming back. While there are many women who choose this option, it is important to note that this doesn’t 100% eliminate the chances of recurrence.

What does the surgery involve?

Having surgery can be a very scary experience, especially if you aren’t really sure what is going to happen, so it is important that you speak with your surgeon and they will provide you with more information about what will happen throughout the surgery.

Every situation is different and the difficulty, as well as the duration of the surgery, will greatly depend on the option you go with. Sometimes unexpected things can come up as well, so it is important so speak with your surgeon to cover every area and potential issue that could arise. Throughout the entire surgery you will be under general anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything.

What is the recovery going to be like?

No matter the option you choose, recovery from a breast surgery is going to be serious. You are probably going to be required to stay in the hospital for a couple of days if you have a mastectomy, whereas a lumpectomy is more likely just a day procedure.

You need to be aware of how long you need to do minimal activity as well as the activities you can and can’t do while you recover. For example, driving is not recommended right after you’ve had a mastectomy. You should also be aware of the changes in your breast, both in terms of sensation as well as appearance.