Surgery may form part of your treatment plan; this decision will be made by your multi-disciplinary team.
Remember your cancer journey is unique so just because someone else has the same cancer as you doesn’t mean your treatment plan will be exactly the same. They may have surgery and you may not.
It’s also important to note that there are different surgical specialists for specific cancers who would perform the surgery. For example, a breast surgeon for breast cancer and a gynae-oncologist for gynaecological cancers, and so on. Always
ask who will be performing your surgery.
Another vital point to remember is to not rush into surgery. Always take your time to make an informed decision, to ensure surgery is the best option. For instance, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you have to have a bilateral mastectomy. There are other breast-saving options. There is no such thing as ‘emergency’ cancer surgery, you have time to make the correct decision for you.
Lastly, remember you’re allowed to ask as many questions as you need to until you’re comfortable with your decision and you have a right to a second opinion.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SURGERY:
- Where is the cancer at the moment?
- Is surgery absolutely necessary?
- What are the risks and side effects of surgery?
- What are the different types of surgery?
- What is the aim of surgery?
- Will all the cancer be removed, or just some of it?
- How much time do I have to think about this?
- What should I expect after surgery? What do I need to know about dressings and wound care?
- How long will I be in hospital and what would change that?
- What problems should I look out for when I go home and who do I contact if any occur?
- Will I need additional treatment after surgery?
- If reconstruction is needed, do you work with a reconstructive surgery team?
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