A cancer diagnosis can alter your life in more ways than one. The emotion that a patient goes through when receiving the initial diagnosis may be overwhelming, but there is good news. Exploring different options and getting a second opinion can help patients and their loved ones make more informed decisions, decide on cancer treatment and much more. An added benefit is a second opinion can introduce patients to advanced treatment options.
We’ve outlined some benefits to getting a second opinion below.
Select a doctor you are comfortable with – Many doctors respect your decision to get a second opinion. It is a patient’s right to choose the doctor they are most comfortable with and encourage it before a patient makes a decision on treatment. It is a patient’s right to a second opinion. Make notes of nurses and office staff to see who you feel most comfortable with. You are not obligated to receive treatment by an oncologist that your primary physician and are free to choose your own. Make sure that the team you choose to treat with best meets your needs.
Take control of your diagnosis and feel empowered – Be proactive. When a patient is proactive when seeking a second opinion they and their family can educate themselves on the type of cancer and available treatment options. Taking control and getting a game plan together can help patients feel in control of their health. Patients shouldn’t feel like control has been taken away from them after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
There may be advanced treatment options – Getting a second opinion for cancer treatment can open up options when it comes to advanced treatment options. Some hospitals may have technology that isn’t available at one facility. Go outside your health system when visiting another physician and hospital. Second opinions can also provide patients custom options for treatment. Tailor your treatment to your needs when seeking a second opinion.
Gain peace of mind and confidence – Confidence is key when fighting cancer. Getting a second opinion gives the patient and family confidence they are selecting the right treatment plan. One in eight patients are misdiagnosed, and you shouldn’t be one of them. A second opinion can yield a different diagnosis altogether, or different type or stage of cancer, which can alter treatment plans.
Second opinions are also useful if a patient has been diagnosed with a rare cancer. Cancers that rare have a higher chance of misdiagnosis if your pathologist hasn’t encountered it before. If you have been diagnosed with a rare cancer a second opinion may be your best option to confirm your disease, type and stage. If you’ve been told that there is no hope and your cancer is Un-treatable a second opinion is needed so you or your loved one can seek additional treatment options.
You have nothing to lose by getting a second opinion. Only the patient knows what they are most comfortable with, and exploring every option available when assessing treatment options for your cancer may be one of the best things a patient has ever done. Contact University Cancer Centers, Houston today to schedule an online appointment with award winning board certified radiation oncologist Dr Mark D’Andrea.