Learning you or a loved one has cancer can be an overwhelming experience. Medical terms can seem like a foreign language and navigating the healthcare system can be full of challenges. In addition, cancer can sometimes be complex to diagnose and even manage. Obtaining a second opinion, whether just being initially diagnosed with cancer or whether you’ve been down multiple treatment paths, a second opinion can help you feel more confident about your diagnosis and in moving forward with treatment options.
A recent study conducted at Mayo Clinic found that 88 percent patients who visited Mayo Clinic for a second opinion were found to have their initial diagnosis changed or modified as a result of a second opinion. It’s important to note, this research looked at all patients coming to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion, not just cancer patients. Alternatively, in this study, only 12 percent of patients who sought a second opinion at Mayo Clinic left with the same diagnosis as when they walked through the doors of Mayo Clinic. This sounds to me like a pretty good reason to move forward with a second opinion, huh? Yet, if you are still uncertain, other reasons you may want to consider a second opinion can include:
It’s always helpful to let your local doctor know you are seeking a second opinion. Many times they are happy to make recommendations to another specialist or institution and assist in sending your medical records in coordinating care. But in this day and age the Internet can provide you a lot of helpful information to assist you in seeking out your own options for a second opinion.
When seeking a second opinion, keep these things in mind:
Second opinions have value. For some, it’s even an opportunity to establish care at an institution or with a provider you may not need right now, but may need on down the line in your cancer journey. But, bottom line, for most, a second opinion gives you confidence in knowing you are doing the best thing for you at the time you need it.
Have you sought out a second opinion?
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