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10 Questions for Your Breast Cancer Surgeon

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    1. Why are you recommending this procedure? What are the options?
    2. What are the risks? How do they compare with the benefits?
    3. How do I prepare for surgery?
    4. What type of anesthesia will I have?
    5. What happens during and right after surgery?
    6. Who do I talk to about breast reconstruction?
    7. How long will I be in the hospital?
    8. Are there any complications?
    9. When can I go back to work and resume normal activities?
    10. What are the risks of lymphedema?

    Before surgery, your surgeon should provide:

    • Specific instructions to follow in the days before surgery
    • An overview of the surgical procedures
    • Information about recovery and follow-up care

    After surgery, watch for complications such as infection or lymphedema, swelling in your arm or hand. Call your doctor immediately if you see signs of swelling, a buildup of fluid, redness, or other symptoms of infection.

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    Elizabeth Edwards: Her Breast Cancer Experience

    Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, knows her breast cancer is not going away. Edwards' breast cancer, first diagnosed in 2004, has recurred. It's in her bones, and, as Edwards writes in her new memoir, Resilience, "it wasn’t leaving. Not ever." That knowledge -- that she will one day die from breast cancer or die with it -- is at the heart of some hard-won lessons about dealing with breast cancer -- and getting aggressive about its early detection...

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    Also see:
    Breast-Conserving Surgery
    Lymph Node Biopsies

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on June 28, 2015
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