Getting a Second Opinion

Getting a second opinion is important in cancer care. Seeing another breast cancer oncologist to review your case can help ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and that the recommended treatment strategy is right for you.

Our breast cancer team has worked with community physicians for decades and is happy to discuss and share information as needed. As a comprehensive cancer center, a second opinion at Roswell Park means far more than getting just one more doctor’s opinion. A second opinion at Roswell Park means a whole team of breast cancer experts, including radiologists, pathologists and surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, all review your case, your imaging, and any other tests you may have had, and work together to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

We can arrange for a consultation with an oncologist on our team, and for a review of any imaging, biopsy or other tests you may have had with another provider. 

Second Opinion Game-Changer

Roswell Park pathologists reported that 10 percent of patients received a change in diagnosis after coming from another care facility.

When Should You Seek a Second Opinion?

It’s always a good idea, but especially important if:

  • Your physician has not provided you with a full, clear explanation of your diagnosis and treatment plan in a language 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 immediacy.

If you’re still not sure whether to ask for 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 any clinical research studies offering new treatments for my cancer?
  • Was my cancer diagnosed in 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.