Receiving a cancer diagnosis is often a scary and daunting moment. Most patients have a lot of questions regarding the details of the diagnosis and which treatment options to move forward with. Given the seriousness of a cancer diagnosis, many patients decide to seek a second opinion.
A second opinion can help you in the following ways:
- Confirm your diagnosis
- Provide a different perspective from a specialist in a different field
- Reveal additional details about your specific type of cancer and its progression
- Provide a different treatment plan or course of action
- Open the door to different clinical trials
Your original provider should understand the value of having a second opinion and should not be offended by your request. A good doctor will want you to feel comfortable and confident in your diagnosis and the recommended treatment path. When searching for a doctor for a second opinion, you can look at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s database of board-certified oncologists. It’s important to research your doctors and to seek recommendations from family, friends, cancer organizations, and other doctors.
When you seek a second opinion consider asking the following questions:
- Is my original diagnosis correct?
- What are my choices?
- What would happen if I waited or chose no treatment?
When you go to your appointment for your second opinion, it’s helpful to bring all prior charts and paperwork detailing your medical history. It’s important to bring any test results, scans, or images in order to avoid repeat-testing. Gathering as much information for your doctor will expedite the process.
If you have received a cancer diagnosis and are seeking a
second opinion, please reach out to schedule an appointment.