Roswell Park oncologists applauded actress Rita Wilson for drawing attention to the importance of second opinions regarding cancer diagnosis and treatment. As she announced her recent double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery following a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer, Wilson noted that her cancer was confirmed only when she sought a second opinion.
Roswell Park breast surgeons Dr. Helen Cappuccino and Dr. Shicha Kumar praised Wilson for sharing her experiences to educate others. Both said they always encourage patients to seek out additional medical opinions before finalizing any plans for cancer treatment.
Sometimes, Dr. Cappuccino noted, a review of a patient’s pathology, or medical analysis of a tissue sample, can reverse the determination of the initial analysis. “There are many times someone will come in with an outside diagnosis of cancer or pre-invasive cancer, and our pathologists will look at it and say ‘No, it was misread in this way, and you don't need to do a cancer operation,’” she told WGRZ-TV Channel 2.
Dr. Kumar, interim chief of breast surgery at Roswell Park, pointed out that in most cases, those who are diagnosed with cancer can safely take the time to seek additional information before committing to a treatment plan. “We encourage people to get all the information they need to make the treatment choices that are best for them,” she told WIVB-TV Channel 4.
For more information on cancer second opinions, see “Every Opinion Counts,” a March 2015 post from the Roswell Park Cancer Talk blog by Dr. Richard Cheney, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager