Getting Second Opinions

It takes many years for breast cancer to develop. The time spent seeking other opinions will not have an adverse effect on the outcome of your case. Generally, it only takes a few weeks to get second (or third) opinions.

There is no crime in getting more then one opinion regarding not only your diagnosis but your plan of treatment. You do have the time for this. Your doctor should not be upset or angry by this decision; in fact, today most doctors recommend at least one or two more opinions. Let your doctor know that you are going to seek a second opinion and ask for your records. If you sense that your doctor is resentful or upset by your desire to seek another opinion, count yourself as blessed to have found out about his or her character now - before your treatment had begun and when it is not too late to find another doctor.

Make sure to take your original x-rays, mammogram films, pathology reports, notes on your health history, and the first doctor's report to another physician. There is no right choice, but you are entitled to make the choices that are right for you at that time. You are going to be able to make the best choices when you are armed with information.  You also might want to bring along a friend or loved one to take notes.  In this stressful time you might not remember all your questions or all the answers.

If two doctors agree, that's wonderful - you just need to decide between the two. If two doctors do not agree, then go to a third. You should get as much information as possible from each doctor that you visit.

Helpful Hints

* If you have insurance, it should cover a second opinion. Some insurance companies even require a second opinion.
* Make sure to take all of your records from every doctor to each appointment.
* Bring a notebook to keep track of the dates, times, and names of the doctors you have consulted with. Make a list of the questions you asked and the answers given to you.
* Make sure to take the reports and films home with you so that you don't have to go back to the office to get them.
* You can call your "preferred" hospital and get referrals to specialists connected to them.

  • Friday, 15 June 2012