Comprehensive Breast Program Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I have a concern about my breast?

You can call us at any time for an appointment or visit your primary care provider for a clinical assessment and ask them for a referral to our office.

At a diagnostic appointment, we thoroughly evaluate your symptoms. If you need further tests, such as a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, or biopsy, we schedule them for you. When you have a complete diagnosis, we design an evidence-based treatment plan tailored to your diagnosis and priorities.

What kinds of breast conditions do you manage?

We provide care for many types of breast cancer in younger and older adults, for people of all genders. We treat early-stage and metastatic breast cancer, as well as high-risk lesions that may lead to cancer. We also provide care for people at higher risk for cancer due to their family history and genetics and for people with benign breast lesions.

May I bring a care partner with me to appointments?

We recognize the important role of loved ones and care partners in your journey. We follow Dartmouth Health guidelines for visitors and, while we may not be able to welcome visitors at every appointment due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, we work with you to share information and updates to keep your care partners involved. We sometimes have more restrictive visitor policies in place at some treatment venues, such as the infusion room, to protect our immunocompromised patients.

What if I don’t have health insurance or if I have other financial concerns?

We connect you with our Patient Financial Services to assess your insurance options and to help get you signed up for a plan. If you have financial stress or other concerns about the cost of your treatment, please ask to speak with our social worker about additional resources.

I’m worried that the cancer will get worse while I wait for my first appointment. Can I get in to see someone sooner?

As soon as you receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, we work to get you scheduled to meet the best members of our team for your circumstances. We use the time before your first appointment to:

  • Analyze your medical history, diagnostic imaging and biopsy results
  • Determine the best treatment options for your condition

This process helps make the most of your first appointment and provide prompt, effective treatment.

What will my breast look like after surgery?

Anticipating how your breast may look after breast-conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, is a common concern. Your results will depend on your individual treatment and your unique anatomy. If you want to explore breast reconstruction after surgery, we connect you with our plastic surgeons. We take time to hear your concerns, answer your questions and discuss the best options for you. You can also learn more about breast reconstruction through The American Cancer Society.