10 Reasons Why A Second Opinion Matters

by Dr Amit Jotwani

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming to process. While too much information may seem like a curse, learning more about your diagnosis and the treatment options available can help you make better decisions.

At certain occasions, you may feel the urge to learn beyond the information your oncologist provides, and in such cases never hesitate to seek a second opinion. 

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Here are 10 reasons why seeking a second opinion for cancer is a good idea:

  1. Peace of mind 

Cancer is a tough disease to fight, and knowing that you’ve got the right team makes a world of difference. In such cases, seeking a second opinion, just to confirm the accuracy of your original team’s diagnosis and treatment plans can go a long way is cementing your confidence in them. 

  1. Different perspectives

Successful treatment is usually the outcome of the convergence of the insights and efforts of a team of different oncologists, surgeons, nurses and more. Each member brings their knowledge and experience to the table, resulting in richer approaches.

  1. Access to clinical trials

Clinical trials help doctors find new ways to treat cancer. Very often, seeking a second opinion for cancer at a different facility may help you learn about clinical trials that may work for your treatment. It may occur that your existing hospital may not yet have this knowledge.

  1. You are uncomfortable with existing options

Seek a second opinion for cancer if you are uncomfortable or doubtful about the first diagnosis or treatment option. Never agree to a procedure you don’t feel right about. Find out more, and seek a second opinion.

  1. The treatment options are risky 

Surgery and certain other forms of treatment can have life-altering consequences. It is unwise to agree to any such procedure without thoroughly understanding what it entails.

  1. You have a rare or unusual form of cancer

Rarer forms of cancer have lesser research done on them. In such cases, the second opinion from a specialist who hasn’t treated your condition is invaluable.

  1. The treatment seems to be ineffective

It may be time to seek a second opinion, if you are facing severe side effects or are not responding well to the prescribed treatment.

  1. Latest treatment options 

Similar to clinical trials, it may so happen that sometimes your doctor or hospital might be unaware of some new mode of treatment available. Seeking a second opinion may help you learn more about some new treatment or technology that may have just emerged.

  1. Communication issues

If you feel you have difficulty understanding your doctor or the advised treatment, it is advisable to seek a second opinion.

  1. Your doctor is not a specialist 

If your doctor is not a subject matter expert of the cancer you have been diagnosed with, then you should definitely seek a second opinion.

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