Cancer Second Opinion
Why get a second opinion?
When you’re fighting a disease like cancer, you want to have confidence in the treatment options available and know that they are being delivered by a team of experts. A second opinion helps you feel confident that you are receiving the cancer care you need and deserve. A second opinion may reveal additional treatment options for your type and stage of cancer, or confirm a current treatment approach. Some treatment options may result in a speedier recovery, with fewer side effects and a better prognosis.
Exploring a second opinion may help you make a more informed decision about your cancer treatment. It may also introduce you to advanced treatment options, if they are available for your cancer type and stage. Here are six benefits of getting a second opinion for your cancer care:
Empowerment and control: By proactively seeking a second opinion, you and your loved ones become more informed about the available treatment options. Learning more about your cancer and your treatment options may also help you feel in control of your health.
Confidence and peace of mind: A second opinion may help you feel more confident that you are choosing the right treatment plan for you. According to one study, one in eight cancer patients is misdiagnosed. In some cases, a second opinion may point to a different type or stage of cancer, which would change the treatment plan. If the original diagnosis is confirmed, a second opinion may provide additional treatment options for you to consider.
Advanced treatment options: Some hospitals have technology that is not available at another facility. Seeking a second opinion from a doctor in a health system that uses state-of-the-art tools and technologies may provide more cancer treatment options, including treatments that are more advanced or more tailored to your individual needs.
Choice of a doctor you really like: Most doctors understand that patients have a right to a second opinion and should not feel offended. In fact, many doctors encourage it before making a treatment decision. You are under no obligation to treat with the oncologist recommended by your primary doctor. When meeting with a new doctor, take note of the nurses and office staff, to make sure you choose to treat with the team and/or hospital that fits your needs.
A greater chance of a correct diagnosis: If you’ve been diagnosed with a rare cancer, a second opinion may confirm the disease type and stage. A rare cancer may mean a greater chance of misdiagnosis, because it may be a disease the pathologist has rarely encountered.
A chance for hope: If one doctor says your cancer is nontreatable, another doctor may explore additional treatment options with you. You have nothing to lose and much to gain by getting a second opinion.
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