If you suspect you have Paget's disease of the breast, your initial appointment might be with your family doctor. Or, when you call for an appointment, you may be referred directly to a doctor who specializes in treating breast conditions.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing. Include even those that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information. Include any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications. Also include vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. Some basic questions to ask include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
- Are there brochures or other printed materials that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you questions about:
- The nature of the skin changes on your nipple
- Whether you also experience nipple discharge, bleeding, burning or itching
- If you have any other breast signs and symptoms, such as a breast lump or area of thickening
- If you have any breast pain
- How long you've experienced signs and symptoms
Your doctor may also ask questions about your personal and family medical history and other possible risk factors for breast cancer.
March 27, 2013
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