How to Get a Second Opinion for a Brain Tumor

If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you need a second opinion. We will ensure you get it without delay.

We can arrange to obtain your scans, have Roswell Park’s brain tumor experts review your imaging right away, and set up a consultation with our neuro-oncology team within a week. If you live far from Roswell Park, we can also arrange for a consultation via telemedicine. Call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or click the button below to submit a request online.

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A second opinion can be both helpful and reassuring, and it’s especially important when it comes to brain tumors — even if your tumor is benign (not cancer). It’s the best way to ensure that your initial diagnosis is accurate, that the recommended treatment strategy is right for you, and that the neurosurgeon and other specialists have the training and experience to provide you the best possible outcome.

Why it matters for brain tumors

The single most important factor in determining your prognosis is the success of your very first treatment — typically surgery. You have only one chance at a first treatment. We understand the urgency of your diagnosis but it’s unlikely that immediate surgery is necessary.

If you received your brain tumor diagnosis in an emergency room or you are currently admitted in another hospital, please call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) before beginning any treatment or surgery. Our experts will confer with your personal physician and can arrange for your transfer to Roswell Park, if necessary.

Have you been told your brain tumor is inoperable?

At Roswell Park, cases are reviewed by a team of specialists from different fields, including neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neuroradiology, neuropathology and radiation medicine. In some cases, patients have come to Roswell Park from other centers after being told their tumors were inoperable, but our physicians — bringing together their unique sets of knowledge, experience and specialty training — found ways to make surgery or other personalized treatment plans not only possible but successful.

Roswell Park offers therapies and approaches unavailable from other providers. Our team will consider all options, incorporating the latest technological and treatment advances to provide you with your best path forward.

If you request a second opinion from Roswell Park, 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?

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.

A second opinion is always a good idea for any cancer diagnosis, but especially important if:

  • 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.
  • Your physician has not provided you with a full, clear explanation of your pathology report — in words you understand.

Questions to consider

If you’re still not sure whether to seek a second opinion, ask yourself the following questions:

  • 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 trials 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?

To arrange for a second opinion, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or fill out the online become a patient form.