What to consider when discussing and planning your breast cancer treatment.

Receiving information

Your breast care team will be keen to give you as much information as you need and want about your disease and treatment. This will help you:

  • understand your situation
  • feel confident about the treatment care you are receiving
  • and make the best choices for you

You should be given adequate time, information and support to make fully informed decisions about your treatment. Everyone is different and you can choose the amount of information you are given.

Let your health professional know what’s right for you, and when you have received enough information for the moment. It’s fine to ask questions and to ask for more support.

Tips for hospital appointments

People often find it difficult to think of questions to ask immediately after being given major new information, such as test results.

You might find it useful to:

  • ask for leaflets to read later
  • tell your doctor or nurse that you would like a second appointment
  • make notes or an audio recording
  • take a family member or friend with you
  • write your questions down as you think of them, and take them with you to your next clinic visit

Your breast care nurse

You should have a named breast care nurse (or key worker) to support you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and follow up, whom you can contact at any time during working hours.

Choosing between treatments

If there is a choice between different treatments, you should be given information about the benefits and risks of each to help you make an informed choice about which is the best option for you, with the help of your breast care team.

Planning your treatment

For more information about planning your treatment, such as tailoring your treatment and receptor tests, please see our best treatment guide if you're in England or Wales, or if you are in Scotland, our guide to breast cancer treatment in Scotland.

Your emotions

It is normal to feel low and anxious some of the time after a breast cancer diagnosis. Some people also feel angry. Everyone receiving breast cancer treatment should be offered counselling and support. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your hospital doctor, nurse or GP for help.

You may also wish to speak to your breast care team about support available to you or contact Breast Cancer Care on 0808 800 6000 or Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 0000.

More information

Visit our publications page to order print copies or download our breast cancer treatment guides for free.

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Information last reviewed: 21 August 2013

Next review due: August 2016

This information is currently being reviewed and will be updated by December 2017.

Breast Cancer Now's health information is covered by NHS England's Information Standard quality mark. Find out more.

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