Why is a second opinion important for cancer?
Top reasons to get a second opinion on cancer.
A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming and often confusing as well. More importantly, it is a life-changing event.
With advances in science and cancer care, a knowledge gap often exists as physicians, treating doctors are often not able to keep abreast with newer treatment protocols.
Therefore it is important to be aware of your prognosis, and treatment options available to you.
A second opinion may help you build faith in your treating doctor or make you aware of other treatment options that could help you with a better prognosis.
As per research,
A Second Opinion Can Often Result In A Big Change Of Diagnosis And Subsequent Treatment.
86% of the patients who take a 2nd opinion walk away with a refined diagnosis, whereas 45% of the patients taking a second opinion walk away with a completely different diagnosis.
Only 12% of the patients seeking a second opinion walk away with the original diagnosis.
We can all make mistakes and doctors are not immune to making mistakes too.
Some doctors are aggressive, some slightly passive by nature and that reflects in their judgment, your treatment options too.
Often treatment protocols are advised based on the socio-economic status of the patient and whats available in the vicinity and not necessarily what’s the best for the patient.
An evidence-based second opinion or a second opinion based your reports without any judgment on your socio-economic status, or on available treatment options in the vicinity, local area, may offer significant insights and alternatives to the initial line of treatment.
A second opinion can thus offer insights into additional treatment options that the first doctor may not have mentioned. As a result, you as a patient become more informed about what is available to you and can make reliable treatment decisions.
While there may not always be a reason to get a second opinion on cancer diagnosis, sometimes getting one is the best choice, for the patient.
When should one get a second opinion or even a third opinion?
1)You are worried if your cancer diagnosis is correct?
Your doctor may belong to your local geography, may not have the best qualifications or credentials or exposure yet he is the only one you have had initial access to.
In such a scenario, it makes sense to get a second opinion from a doctor with better credentials, someone who may be practicing in a quaternary care hospital and may know more or have access to the recent breakthrough in technology, treatment protocols, cancer care.
2)If you are concerned about whether your doctor has diagnosed you correctly, and hence is your treatment plan based upon diagnosis correct?
When you are in doubt or if your instinct tells you that this is not the best for you, listen to your inner self and get a second opinion. A second opinion may get you the best treatment possible and save your life.
3) You live in a smaller town city, a country which doesn’t have the best healthcare and subsequently cancer care.
In such a situation, it makes sense to take a second opinion online or a remote consult so that you get an opinion on the best course of treatment for your cancer diagnosis.
What’s best, it may even save you money which you would have spent while traveling and yet give you a super-specialized consultation.
4)You have two different opinions and not sure what to do now?
In such a scenario, it makes sense to take second and even third or fourth opinions, dig deeper and deeper till you have the answers which seem right. As a result, you will gain knowledge on several treatment options and possible benefits, and side effects of each.
5) You are not clear on the diagnosis and have been waiting for days-weeks to get a clear reply, line of treatment.
Having a super-specialist oncologist go through your report in such a case, may help you with much-needed clarity and the right action plan.
6) The doctor says you are well on your way to recovery, everything is under control but your symptoms won’t go away.
When your treating physician has less to say and is not able to give answers to your questions, a second opinion from a super-specialist oncologist or a super-specialist cancer doctor may provide much-needed clarity.
7) Get a second opinion if your initial treatment plan involves surgery.
It is never wise to agree to surgery or a procedure such as a bone marrow transplant which has life long consequences, even if the doctor says so. As a patient, you have every right to disagree and explore other treatment options which may be less invasive. It is your body, your life, your treatment and hence you must explore what’s the best for you and then make a decision, as treatment can be life-altering.
A second opinion, helps you gather information and gives greater control on your cancer treatment.
8) You have been diagnosed with a rare and difficult to treat cancer.
Getting diagnosed with a difficult or rare cancer can be frightening as there is very little research and hence a higher possibility of misdiagnosis. Therefore it is a good idea to look for the right super-specialist oncologists who may have treated your disease before and get a second opinion. This will ensure that you get the best second opinion for your cancer diagnosis.
9) The same disease, advise on different lines of treatment.
Even with the same disease, there may be different lines of treatment, for example, lumpectomy, vs mastectomy for breast cancer. Starting off with Radiation vs surgery for prostate cancer. Exploring a second opinion not only helps with sufficient information, but it also helps you make the right decision for your cancer treatment after careful consideration.
To get a 2nd opinion from our expert panel, login to www.cancerx.co.in and signup on the patient sign-in the header.
Post simple signup with your mobile number, you are all set to get a second opinion from some of the best cancer doctors from some of the best cancer hospitals in India.
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