If you or someone you love was just diagnosed with cancer, or are in the middle of treatment, what might make them decide to get a second opinion? Could it be due to the recommended treatments, the prognosis, the physician, or something else? Let’s go through what to consider when you are wondering if you should get a second opinion for cancer.
When Doesn’t Necessarily Mean a Time Period
When you decide to ask for a second opinion can be at any time during your cancer journey. It could be right at the beginning or right in the middle of it. Whenever you feel insecure or unsure about the advice you are being given is the right time to ask for different advice. It’s when you decide. Don’t ever feel guilty. We ask for numerous second opinions for things much less consequential.
When You Want More Treatment Options
There is no single one and done treatment for the type of cancer you have. You may get suggestions for clinical trials or new treatments that may be better than the standard. You may also get suggestions for complementary approaches to help manage symptoms.
When You Want to Avoid Over Treatments
Every cancer patient wants a better quality of life. A second opinion helps you avoid treatments you may not need or lessen the intensity of a treatment you don’t need.
An article in 2023 Cancer Medicine detailed a recent study of 120 patients. It’s conclusions are as follows:
- I in 3 patients had a change in treatment with most getting a less intensive treatment
- 1 in 5 were recommended to have no surgery or less surgery
- 1 in 10 were told they didn’t need treatment, and could be observed for a period of time
We Encourage You To Get A Second Opinion
Almost all doctors will encourage second opinions. Ask any doctor whose loved one is diagnosed with cancer if they would get a second opinion, the answer will be affirmative.
When You Want Peace of Mind
Feeling confident when you are being treated for cancer is very important. It can be helpful to hear a different perspective or the same advice from a different person. It can also give you peace of mind to confirm what your original team has said.
Don’t shy away from a second opinion. Every patient needs access to innovative treatments. The only way to be sure is to get some various opinions or know you are at a place that offers advanced therapies.