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A Second Opinion on a Cancer Diagnosis in Texas

People diagnosed with cancer usually face a wide range of emotions and a sense of urgency to undergo treatment. Typically, with a new diagnosis, there’s a duration, depending on the type and stage of cancer, before treatment starts. It’s during this time that getting a second opinion becomes an essential and necessary part of treating the diagnosis.

So, what’s a second opinion? It’s where another, independent doctor reviews the diagnosis and treatment recommendations of the doctor who’s treating the disease. Often, patients get a second opinion after they are referred to a second doctor, or to a multidisciplinary team-a team of experts in a cancer center.

Why you may need a second option

  • It helps to confirm the diagnosis
  • Determines whether the cancer has spread
  • Offers perspectives from other specialists with different expertise such as a surgical oncologist or a radiation oncologist
  • Determines integrative therapies or clinical trials that may apply to your plan of treatment
  • Explores other treatment options
  • Provides confidence on how to carry on with your care

Situations that may make a second opinion necessary

  • You’ve an unusual or rare type of cancer
  • You’re not comfortable with the diagnosis, your doctor, or need some confirmation
  • Your health insurer requires it
  • Suggested treatment option has risks or side effects that you find a bit disconcerting
  • The doctor has different treatment goals from you
  • Recommended treatment options will lead to unreasonable or unacceptable demands on your life or that of your family
  • The cancer doesn’t respond to the current treatment method

Many people are hesitant to seek a second opinion. Cancer patients or caregivers usually think that asking the doctor about a second opinion might annoy the doctor and have a negative effect on their medical care. However, it’s important for patients to know a second opinion is their right and that medical professionals can expect patients to get a second opinion.

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