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Asking the right questions before your breast cancer surgery

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MILWAUKEE -- A cancer diagnosis can change a life forever. Learning you will need surgery is just one of the aspects of a diagnosis that may seem overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions. Breast Surgical Oncologist Dr. Amanda Kong with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin joins FOX6 WakeUp to talk about the effects of different breast cancer treatments on patient quality of life, hereditary breast cancer, sentinel lymph node biopsy and disparities in breast cancer care.

How many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer will need surgery?
Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery as part of their treatment. There are different types of breast surgery, and it may be done for different reasons, depending on the situation.

What are some of the questions you get from patients before surgery?
A: Before surgery, I like to make sure we talk about:

  • Specific instructions to follow in the days before surgery
  • An overview of the surgical procedure: hospitalization, anesthesia, etc.
  • Information about recovery and follow-up care

What are some other issues you and your patients discuss?

  • Understanding why I am recommending a particular procedure.
  • Understanding all of their options and care plan.
  • Explaining any risks and understanding the benefits.
  • We talk about breast reconstruction, which may be an option.
  • We discuss when a woman who`s had surgery can go back to work and resume normal activities.

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