When you’re faced with a decision such as where to receive cancer treatment and what treatment plan to follow, you want to be confident in your decision and comfortable with the cancer specialists who will be taking care of you and your family throughout this experience. A second opinion is important to confirming a diagnosis and/or being educated about your cancer and treatment options. There are many advances in technology, clinical trials and treatment options. You want to be comfortable with the plan your physician presents to you and a second opinion can assist you with that.
Second opinions should not offend competent physicians, and you should not be worried that one of the doctors will be upset if you do not choose them. At Affiliated Oncologists, our cancer specialists, nurses and support staff want you to seek treatment where you’re most comfortable.
We encourage you to seek a second opinion or if you’ve been receiving care from another healthcare provider and would like to be seen please feel free to schedule an appointment with an oncologist at one of our offices.
What to Expect During a Second Opinion Appointment
Be sure to bring the following items with you. During a second opinion appointment the oncologist will most likely want to review:
- Your medical records that include the diagnosis and stage
- Most recent blood test results
- Any images such as CTs, MRIs or PET Scans
- Biopsy results
- The treatment plan that’s been recommended
If there is anything else needed, they will order it to be done.
Based on the information that’s available to them, the oncologist will tell you if they agree with the diagnosis and recommended treatment plan or if there is something else that they suggest based on their experience, research, publications they’ve read and/or results they have experienced with other people.
In most cases, the second opinion gives patients the confidence they need to start a treatment program. If you feel more comfortable with one particular health care team and their treatment setting over another, we recommend you go there. If you choose the second doctor, it is courteous to tell the first doctor what you’ve decided by calling the office and telling the front desk staff of your decision.
Payment and Insurance
Most insurance companies will cover a second opinion assessment. If you’re not sure, ask the scheduler at the second cancer treatment center to check for you and they will let you know.