• Second Opinion

    Asked by LeslieMichelle on Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Second Opinion

    Do I encourage her to get a second opinion? Mom does like her Oncologist but my gut is telling me to get her that second opinion. Thanks, Leslie!

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      You need to consider if there is a specific reason to get second opinion. It is not to do comparison shopping for doctors, but rather to get an additional professional consult regarding either a diagnosis or treatment plan. And you also need to realize that you can't get her a second opinion, only she or her oncologist can do that and that he/she probably has already. It is routine for oncologists to have their findings and treatment plans reviewed and commented on by what is called a "Tumor Board" that usually includes additional medical experts in various fields of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      The answer is yes...
      It is very very important for you to follow your gut. Do not hesitate to get 2 or three opinions if you can.

      The most important thing to do is to find an expert in your Mom's cancer and go to a top notch cancer center. Where you are treated has a direct impact on survival. Unfortunaly while it sounds good, and it is a good concept, we now know from a recent clinical trial that a "Tumor board review" does not improve survival. Facility and Onc. experience and speciality does.

      And those specialists may also be reserchers and have clinical trials available or know of those that might help your Mom.

      There is an excellant outline on what to look for in a cancer center on About.com and I think an outline on selecting an ONc. as well. Last I saw they were great advise.

      It is very important that you have a good relationship with your Onc. no doubt but his/her knowledge and connections to other cancer specific experts around the country is also critical to your care because they all talk on a regular basis. Cancer care is so complicated that no one Doctor can be everything to everybody.

      Start a book with sections to collect and keep the material from doctors visits , tests , treatments and results. Kepp a notes sections to keep the details from your visits..This will help down the road as it can get complicated and its easy to forget details. Good luck..

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      CAS1, Could you please provide the information on the clinical trial you referred to? I'm a bit confused by its claimed results since tumor boards are oncology experience and specialty, so I'm not understanding the distinction their are making. I would also find the clinical trial to be a bit suspect if it were in fact conducted by the facility that claimed its own superior survival rates as a result.

      over 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      LeslieMichelle,
      Yes, you should indeed get a second opinion, in fact, as an oncology nurse I can tell you that most oncologists expect you to, and they also know when they get new patients; many are there for a second opinion. You are paying for their service so you do not need any oncologists permission to get that second opinion. Let me make a suggestion to you: ask your mom to get that second opinion, and if the second opinion is the same as the first then....no harm, no foul. However, if it is different and as you state she likes her oncologist, get the treatment recommendation of the second opinion and bring it to her current oncologist. Ask her oncologist if he/she would be interested in trying that recommendation if the current therapy fails or before you start it. Many oncologists will be willing to do that for you and encourage patients to be more actively involved in their care. This way (1) she can keep her current oncologist, (2) you have another oncologist out there who knows her case just in case she should need to switch, and (3) you have an alternative treatment in your back pocket that her oncologist is willing to entertain. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      Carm brought up an excellant point Onc's will embrace treatments offered by other Onc's and will give them at the facility your are currently using with the exception of clinical trials.

      Another very good reason to consider another opinion.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I'm a big fan of 2nd opinions. I have gotten them through out my treatment. Another set of eyes from someone with different experience can only help create the best treatment plan. I know that this has been the case for me. My Breast oncologist incorporated genetic testing suggestions I got from my 2nd opinion. It also made me feel better that there was agreement on my current treatment plan.
      I also say go with you Gut. It's great that you mom likes her oncologist and that is a very important consideration. But, just because you like someone, doesn't mean that they are the right one to be in charge of treatment. My mom didn't have cancer, but loved her doctor because he told her what she wanted to here, not what she needed to here. My sisters and found a great gerontologist and her health improved dramatically.

      over 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Yes.
      Gut speaks truly.
      Look up Bonnie Bassler on youtube for gut intelligence backing.

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      Why is your gut telling you to get a second opinion? Do you not trust the onc and the treatment plan, are you wanting to make sure all bases are covered or are you hoping for a miracle? Second opinions are important and I always think they are the best route even if you are happy with your current treatment (peace of mind if nothing else). But you must be prepared for the answer to be the same as the one you have now.

      I only partly agree with the idea that your treatment center is the most important consideration. There are a lot of "for profit" centers that don't offer anything more in the end than a bigger name, better PR department and greater distance. Do your research on their results--both the results they tout and the results offered by outside reviews.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      I can say for certain that some facilities will offer surgery and or radiation like proton therapy that is not offered everywhere with a curative intent. Other facilities who don't have that expertise or equipment will not offer it. And that is a diffrence of life or death.

      For anyone with Lung cancer who has not been muation tested is very disappointing. Yet just look at the number on this site alone. Facility and Doctor make all the difference.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      It never hurts to get a second opinion....It may just confirm that its time to move to a different doctor, or that its best to stay put where you are at....when I was having problems with my recon, I got a 2nd opinion with the "best" and all it did was confirm that my PS was the best, and I felt more than comfortable working with him to find a solution.

      over 4 years ago

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