breast-cancer-clear-and-simple

Below is a list of topics covered in this book, available at the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center at the University of Kentucky.

Introduction

  1. About this book
  2. How to use this book

1. Finding Out You Have Breast Cancer

What Now?

Don’t Rush

2. What will happen to me?

Will I be okay?

Will I lose my breast?

What if I need to have my breast removed?

Will I be in pain?

My friend had breast cancer. Will my experience be the same as hers?

My loved one had another kind of cancer. Should I expect my experience to be the same as hers?

3. What is Breast Cancer?

How cancer starts

More facts about breast cancer

Why me?

Is it my fault I have breast cancer?

I don’t feel sick, do I really have cancer?

 

How serious is my cancer?

How do the doctors know how serious my cancer is?

What does “cancer grade” mean?

What does “cancer stage” mean?

The doctor has said my breast cancer has spread. What does that mean?

Do my doctors know how well I will respond to treatment?

What is meant by the word “prognosis”?

Why doesn’t the doctor use the word “cure”?

Do I need a second opinion?

Won’t the first doctor be mad if I want to talk to someone else?

Questions to ask the doctor who told you about your cancer

4. Treating your breast cancer

Who will help with my cancer treatment?

Can I choose my doctor?

What should I think about when choosing a doctor?

Where will I go for treatment?

Who else will care for me?

Questions to ask a doctor who may treat you

5. How to talk with your doctor

What’s the best way to treat my breast cancer?

  1. What kind of treatment will I get?
  2. How do I know whether my doctor is suggesting the best treatment?
  3. Should I consider genetic testing?
  4. What should I do if I have an inherited genetic mutation?
  5. How is surgery used to treat breast cancer?
  6. What is the role of the lymph system in breast cancer?
  7. How do I decide between mastectomy and lumpectomy?

Questions to think about when deciding which surgery is best for you

What should I expect after a mastectomy?

What to ask about caring for yourself after a mastectomy

What should I expect after a lumpectomy?

What to ask  about caring for yourself after a lumpectomy

6. What are other treatments for breast cancer?

  1. How is radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer?
  2. How is chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer?
  3. How is hormone therapy used to treat breast cancer?
  4. How is targeted therapy used to treat breast cancer?
  5. How is bone directed therapy used to treat breast cancer?
  6. What should I know about herbs, supplements and special diets to treat breast cancer?

Making your treatment choices

What is a clinical trial?

Questions to ask the doctor about treatments

Side effects of chemotherapy

What do I need to know about side effects from treatment?

  1. What are side effects?
  2. Will treatment make me feel sick?
  3. Will I lose my hair?
  4. Will I feel tired?
  5. What is lymphedema? Will I get it?
  6. Could I have other side effects?
  7. Is there help for any pain I might have?
  8. Can I cope with side effects like pain without medicine?
  9. Will I be able to have children after treatment

Questions to ask the doctor about side effects

What should I know about paying for treatment?

  1. How can I get help to pay for treatment?
  2. What do Medicare and Medicaid pay for?
  3. Are there other groups that can help me pay for treatment and other costs?
  4. What if I can’t pay my bills?
  5. What is private health insurance? What does it pay for?
  6. What if my insurance claim is turned down?

Questions to ask the hospital billing department or insurance company

What is a breast cancer survivor?

How will cancer treatment affect me and my loved ones?

  1. Does anyone feel the way I do?
  2. How can I be more in control of my life?

Keeping a journal may help

  1. How can I find help and support?
  2. I told my family I have breast cancer. Why are they acting strangely?
  3. How will cancer affect my friendships?
  4. How will cancer affect my life at home?
  5. Can anyone help with my daily challenges?

Questions to ask a doctor, nurse or social worker about life during treatment?

  1. How will cancer and treatment affect my work?
  2. Is it better to work during treatment or take time off?
  3. Should I tell people at work that I have cancer?
  4. Could I lose my job if I have to take time off?
  5. How can I get ready to take time off from work?
  6. Can I get help with money if I have to take time off work?

Recovering from treatment

What if my breast was removed?

  1. Will I ever get used to the changes in my body?
  2. What are my choices after mastectomy?
  3. I may want to have a surgery to make a new breast. Without surgery, how can I look like I have two breasts?
  4. What should I know about a breast form?

What is breast reconstruction surgery?

  1. Can I have breast reconstruction surgery?
  2. What should I know about breast reconstruction?

Questions to ask about breast reconstruction

Is my cancer gone forever?

  1. What if my cancer comes back?
  2. Can I lower my chancers that the cancer comes back?
  3. How will I know if my cancer comes back?
  4. When should I call the doctor?

Questions to ask about cancer and cancer coming back?

How can I be close to someone after cancer and treatment?

  1. How will cancer and treatment affect my sex life?
  2. Should I talk about my cancer with someone new I’m dating?

How can I stay healthy from now on?

  1. How can I keep my body healthy?
  2. How can I eat right after cancer treatment?
  3. How should I exercise after cancer treatment?

How can I get back to living my life?

  1. Can I live a normal life again?
  2. What do I do now?

More Information

  1. Can you help me understand breast cancer risk?
    1. What does it mean if I’m at risk for breast cancer?
    2. What risk factors raise a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer?
    3. Are other women in my family more at risk of getting breast cancer?
    4. Can anything lower a person’s chances of getting breast cancer?
    5. I’ve heard that breast implants can increase your chances of getting breast cancer. Is that true?
    6. How can I have breast cancer if no one in my family has had it?
  2. More about cancer stages
    1. On the pathology report, what do the letters T, N, and M and the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mean?
    2. A nurse says that I have III A breast cancer. How do the letters T,N.M and 0-4 relate to that stage?
    3. What are the differences between my IIB breast cancer and my friend’s IIIB breast cancer?

Your medical team

References

Resource Guide

Glossary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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