Patients with neuroendocrine tumors interact with many doctors during the course of their treatment, but rarely do they meet the specialist who plays a critical role in the outcome: the pathologist who diagnoses their cancer by analyzing samples of blood, tissue and body fluid. Precise diagnosis is what drives patient decisions and therapy. If the pathology is wrong, everything that follows will likely be incorrect as well.
This is especially true with neuroendocrine tumors. It can be difficult to tell whether a tumor is a neuroendocrine tumor or some other kind of cancer, and the treatments for the two different conditions are very different.
It takes years of training and a specific skill set to become an expert pathologist. After medical school, doctors complete a minimum of four years in a pathology training program and generally pursue additional training in a subspecialty.
Cancer treatments are becoming more and more targeted, so an accurate and comprehensive analysis by a pathologist is critical in determining the best approach. Learn how to read your pathology report.
A second opinion is helpful in many kinds of cancer, and is especially important with neuroendocrine tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors are rare. They resemble other cancers, and a careful identification of the tumor cells is needed in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
You can get an expert second opinion at Roswell Park. You don’t have to receive treatment at Roswell Park in order to get a second opinion. You may continue to see your current doctor, and we are happy to discuss and share information.
It’s always a good idea, but especially important if:
If you’re still not sure whether to ask for a second opinion, ask yourself:
To arrange for a second opinion at Roswell Park, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or fill out the online Become a Patient Form.