Before starting treatment, a patient may want a second opinion about the diagnosis and the treatment plan. Some insurance companies require a second opinion; others may cover a second opinion if the patient requests it. Gathering medical records and arranging to see another doctor may take a little time. In most cases, a brief delay to get another opinion will not make therapy less helpful.
There are a number of ways to find a doctor for a second opinion:
- The doctor may refer patients to one or more specialists. At cancer centers, several specialists often work together as a team.
- The Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) can tell callers about treatment facilities, including cancer centers and other programs supported by the National Cancer Institute, and can send printed information about finding a doctor.
- A local medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school can usually provide the name of specialists.