Breast health is an important part of good health, especially for women. This section contains lists of questions to ask your doctor about breast health. Print this page, check the questions you would like your doctor to answer, and take them with you to your appointment. The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to make decisions about breast health.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Breast Health

  • Am I considered low risk, average risk, or high risk for breast cancer?
  • What steps can I take to lower my breast cancer risk?
  • Should I perform breast self-examinations to improve my awareness and familiarity about what is and is not normal for my breasts? If so, how often should I perform these self-exams?
  • How do I perform breast self-exams correctly?
  • What breast cancer warning signs should I look for during self-exams?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of breast self-examination (BSE)?
  • How often should I have a clinical breast exam by a qualified health care provider? What are the benefits and limitations of clinical breast exams?
  • At what age should I schedule my first mammogram?
  • How often should I have a mammogram?
  • How should I prepare for my mammogram? Is this test painful?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What are the benefits, limitations, and risks of mammography?
  • If my mammogram shows an abnormality, what other tests may be performed?
  • What are the risks associated with breast ultrasound, breast MRI, PET scan, and other diagnostic tests?
  • Are these tests covered by insurance?
  • If I require a biopsy, what type of procedure will be performed?
  • Why do you recommend this type of biopsy?
  • What are the risks associated with breast biopsy?
  • What tests will be performed on the biopsy tissue sample?
  • How long will it take to get the biopsy results?
  • If tests show that I do not have breast cancer, when should I be seen for a follow-up appointment?
    Next appointment: Date: Time:

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 05 Nov 2008

Last Modified: 02 Sep 2015