What to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Breast Cancer

Keck Medicine of USC
Univeristy of Southern California
Keck Medicine of USC
Keck Medicine of USC
Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.

What to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Breast Cancer

Early detection with self exams and regular, high quality mammograms can catch breast cancer when it’s very treatable. Newer technologies, such as 3D mammography (also called breast tomosynthesis, or DBT) can provide a more accurate assessment.

When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the news can be overwhelming. To start, you need to find the best team – not just a single doctor. When experts work together, you benefit from the best possible treatment options. In fact, studies have shown that patients with a dedicated care coordinator and a multidisciplinary approach are likelier to have less invasive surgery and timelier treatment.

Once you have your team in place, ask questions. Discuss your treatment. Don’t be shy about asking for clarification if you don’t understand something. You can ask things like:

  • What specific type of cancer do I have? What stage is it?
  • Do I need other tests? What information would they give?
  • What are my treatment options? How do they compare?
  • Is there an appropriate clinical trial for my case?
  • Do you know of a support group I can join?


Your care doesn’t end with your last treatment. Your doctors and care coordinator should be partners in your full recovery, connecting you with support groups and other resources you need to heal and move on. As you resume your routines and return to daily life, regular exercise can help lower your risk of recurrence, control weight and increase your quality of life.

Make an appointment

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or are experiencing symptoms, our experts can help. USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the eight original National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, bringing together some of the nation’s top physicians, nurses and researchers in cancer care. Request an appointment at (800) USC-CARE or cancer.keckmedicine.org.