One of breast cancer’s harshest cruelties is how it can impact a woman’s identity through the surgical restructuring of the chest. It also forces patients to make a series of life-altering decisions in quick succession. While many of these decisions revolve around treatment plans, such as whether you’ll need chemotherapy or radiation, some of them will leave lasting scars and reminders of the cancer journey and raise some difficult questions.

It can be truly overwhelming to wade through all of this when you’re newly diagnosed and in shock or emotional. But your surgeon should be asking about your preferences.