When should you get a second opinion? It’s always a good idea, but it’s 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?
To arrange for a second opinion, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or fill out the online Become a Patient Form.