Why a second opinion after a cancer diagnosis matters

Why a second opinion after a cancer diagnosis matters

Vino Cherian
Vino Cherian

Cancer care is an ever-evolving field where new treatments are continuously developed. So, it is always worth getting a second opinion when a person is diagnosed with cancer. Furthermore, research evidence indicates that most early-stage cancer patients are satisfied with the opinion of their first oncologist.

So, what is a second opinion?

A second opinion provides a means to obtain additional input to reassure the patient about the recommended treatment options, feel assured that the initial oncologists correctly diagnosed the patient, and if the most effective treatment plan has been suggested. It can also give patients a chance to explore different treatment options to get more information about the risks and benefits of each option. Second opinions are especially relevant to cases of metastatic cancer.

Furthermore, in some cases, a second opinion may result in a completely different diagnosis, which can majorly impact treatment decisions. Seeking out a second opinion could make all the difference.

A few reasons why a Second Opinion is valuable

1. The Second opinion provides Peace of mind

After a cancer diagnosis, a second opinion can relieve some of the anxiety. When patients have doubts, they should get a second opinion to empower themselves with information and support that helps them make the right decisions and chooses the treatment that provides the best possible outcome.

2. The second opinion provides Different options

The possibility of receiving high-quality care wherever the patient seeks treatment might be there. However, the patient will learn different options they may have by getting a second opinion. Chemotherapy may be an option for patients who may only know about it after seeking a second opinion. Patients may also not realize they could also be a candidate for clinical trials and other therapies without a second opinion.

3. The involvement of a multidisciplinary approach opinion

The participation of a multidisciplinary team that discusses a patient’s treatment options ensures that the oncologist can use the collective knowledge of the entire team to provide a second opinion for each type of cancer.

4. The Support services that make a difference

Because cancer is complicated, having a team and services is vital to making a huge difference. Strong teams that can answer the patient’s questions following the second opinion are:

  • Oncology Nurse Practitioners
  • Oncology Pharmacists
  • Clinical trials recruitment specialists

Finally, cancer care can be expensive, and not everyone can afford to see multiple oncologists. By getting a second opinion, the patient can be sure of making the best possible decision about their health. Furthermore, if the patient cannot afford to see multiple doctors, getting a second opinion can help confirm that the first diagnosis was correct. 

Either way, Second opinions must become a normal part of cancer care.

Vino Cherian
Vino Cherian
As the founder of cancerGO, my mission is to destigmatize cancer to simplify the future of cancer care. The passion behind building cancerGO stems from witnessing my grandmother, uncle's, and friends' cancer journeys among countless patients during my tenure at MD Anderson Cancer.

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