'While waiting for my specialist appointment, my son called and asked what I was doing. I told him I was waiting to find out what I was going to do with the rest of my life'
After finding out you have breast cancer, you may feel shocked, upset, anxious or confused. These are normal responses. Waiting for the appointment to see the cancer specialist can be hard. Understanding this, we try our best to see you as soon as possible, often within days.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women (after non-melanoma skin cancer). Although rare, breast cancer can also affect men. Early breast cancer can be treated successfully and for most people, breast cancer will not come back after treatment.
We understand some people cope by wanting as much information as possible about their diagnosis and treatment while others get overwhelmed by information overload. We will work with you to fulfill your needs from your first visit.
What to expect during your first cancer specialist meeting?
You can prepare for your first cancer specialist visit by writing down all your questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. We encourage you to ask questions until you understand the answers.
During your first cancer specialist visit, we will usually discuss:
the type of breast cancer you have based on your biopsy results
the possible treatments that you might be having and how this can affect your work and life. Many women have breast cancer surgery first followed by discussion about other treatments but sometimes, you might need chemotherapy before surgery.
how you can take care of your well-being
your support system
written and online information about breast cancer and breast cancer treatment
additional tests such as a CT scan or bone scan if needed
genetic testing if it is possible you may have hereditary breast cancer
any other concerns that you may have
We try our best not to overload you with information but it is common for people who have just been diagnosed to feel swamped with all the information they are getting and the choices they are being asked to make. We encourage you to bring someone along for support and to act as another set of ears.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, keep in mind that you don't have to make any fast decisions. It is fine to take a little time and think about what feels right for you. If you do start to feel distressed, try to slow down and take things one step at a time. Ask for more information if you need it.
After your appointment, we make sure you have our contact number in case you have more questions or concerns between appointments. You will not have to face this difficult time alone.
If you have any questions or want to make an appointment, email us or give us a call on (07)3859 0690.