Cancer can be a devastating disease if caught too late. Even catching it early, while a relief in its own right, still presents complication for further care and treatment. It is strictly up to a patient whether they feel their diagnosis or treatment could use another pair of eyes. Getting a second opinion helps ease a patient’s mind by going over their medical diagnosis and treatment plan with another reliable source. Therefore, let us expound on the different ways one can get a second opinion when it comes to treating cancer.
Firstly, there may be a multitude of reasons as to why one would want or need to seek out a second opinion; perhaps they aren’t confident that their original physician has made the best possible diagnosis, or have a rare or unusual kind of cancer that warrants a second opinion, or their cancer isn’t responding positively to the current treatment plan. That is why getting a second opinion can seriously alter the outcome(s) of a patient’s case. By getting a second opinion, new light is shed on any other possible treatment plans or methods and helps instill confidence on a patient’s outlook and morale. It is always best for a patient to keep an open line of communication with their original physician. By letting them know you are inquiring for a second opinion they may be able to assist and recommend another physician. Furthermore, if your doctor is at a crossroad with how to proceed with your treatment they should be recommending you to another physician immediately.
If however, you decide to seek out a second opinion on your own that is perfectly fine as well. You shouldn’t feel guilty, you are not going behind someone’s back or stepping on someone’s toes, by getting a second opinion. The option is there for you to feel secure and confident in your overall progression. Therefore, when looking for a second opinion, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- If you do not have a recommendation provided by your original doctor, then look for NCI-Designated Cancer Centers that offer high grade care and are equipped with the appropriate research programs and facilities that support development of new treatment plans and methods.
- Convene with your insurance provider in order to assess the full scope of your coverage. This will be of use if you find yourself in a tight spot in terms of finances.
- At the time of scheduling an appointment, make sure your intended specialist has a deep well of experience when it comes to treating your cancer type.
- Always bring whatever scans, blood tests, medical exams, previous treatment plans, etc. with you to your appointment.
- Furthermore, you should always be clear with what exactly it is you want and/or are looking for. Whether you want validation that your current treatment plan is right for you, look for other treatment options, etc.
When all is said and done a second opinion should give you that added boost of confidence that your treatment plan is the best for you. Never hesitate in getting a second opinion, for it could make all the difference.