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10 Questions to Ask About Your Pathology Report

Updated September 27, 2010

  1. Is the breast cancer invasive, noninvasive or mixed, and what is the cell type? How will these features impact treatment decisions?
  2. How aggressive is the breast cancer?
  3. Is the cancer small, medium or large?
  4. Have any cancer cells traveled away from the original tumor? How many lymph nodes are involved?
  5. Were the surgical margins negative, close or positive? If negative, how wide were they? If they were close or positive, do you recommend more surgery?
  6. Am I a candidate for hormone-blocking or hormone-lowering therapies?
  7. Am I a candidate for HER2-targeted therapy?
  8. Were any of the results unclear, and if so, should the tissue be retested?
  9. Am I eligible for genomic testing?
  10. Do I need more tests (imaging studies, blood tests) to tell whether the cancer has traveled to other parts of my body?

Learn more about the providers who helped us write this page in the Guide to Understanding Treatment Decisions.