A second opinion can be both helpful and reassuring, and it’s especially important when it comes to brain tumors and disorders. It’s the best way to ensure that your initial diagnosis is accurate and that the recommended treatment strategy is right for you.
Second Opinion Game-Changer
Roswell Park pathologists report that 11-18% of patients receive a change in diagnosis after coming to Roswell Park from another care facility.
If you request a second opinion from an expert on the Roswell Park Brain team, you will not be under any obligation to receive your care here. Our specialists work closely with physicians in the community, so you may continue to see your current doctor, and we will be happy to discuss your case and share information.
When Should You Seek a Second Opinion?
It’s always a good idea, but especially important if:
- Your physician or pathologist has not provided you with a full, clear explanation of your pathology report — in words you understand.
- Your physician tells you that you don’t need a second opinion. A good doctor will suggest that you get another opinion if there are questions about your treatment or diagnosis. If your physician is offended, find a new doctor.
- Your physician wants you to have surgery tomorrow. Almost nothing in the world of cancer care requires that kind of immediate treatment, except patients with acute leukemia, cases in which a tumor is compressing a vital structure — such as the heart or large blood vessels — or certain other rare conditions.
If you’re still not sure whether to request a second opinion, ask yourself:
- Am I confident in the diagnosis or treatment options I’ve been given?
- Am I comfortable with my treating physician?
- Has my physician clearly explained all treatment options — not just the ones he or she prefers?
- Are there clinical research studies offering new treatments for my cancer?
- Was my cancer diagnosed at an office or community hospital setting or in a comprehensive cancer center?
- Does my insurance plan require a second opinion? If not, what type of coverage does it provide for second opinions?