02 Mar SEEKING A SECOND OPINION FOR CANCER DIAGNOSIS
When you or a loved one first receives a cancer diagnosis, it is unsettling and shocking news. After receiving the news from your doctor, it may be challenging to decide on the best course of action. With that said, it’s a good idea to seek a second opinion to ensure you get the best and most appropriate care. Second opinions can reveal important details about your medical condition that can significantly impact your treatment options and health outcomes. At Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center, our experienced oncologists and staff members
Your Key to Informed Healthcare Choices
In a 2019 study released by the Mayo Clinic, 21 percent of those surveyed indicated that their initial diagnoses changed completely with a second opinion.
Meanwhile, 66 percent of respondents mentioned receiving an updated or refined diagnosis. What’s even more fascinating are the findings of an independent 2006 study involving breast cancer patients. After examining medical records of a breast cancer treatment center, researchers discovered that more than half of patients who sought second opinions received changes in their surgery recommendations.
Many people don’t seek second opinions because they are afraid of offending their physicians, feel that they don’t have time to visit another specialist or worry that their insurance won’t cover one. Yet these studies illustrate how important they can be when it comes to your care, especially when you need to eliminate ambiguity to make the best treatment decisions:
- You’ve received a serious, rare, and complex medical diagnosis.
- Your doctor suggests an elective or non-emergency surgical procedure.
- You haven’t obtained a precise diagnosis of your condition.
- You’re considering experimental treatments.
How to Get Your Second Opinion
The process of getting a second opinion can vary according to your insurance provider’s guidelines and the availability of specialists in your area. Nevertheless, you can follow a few key steps to obtain the recommendations you desire:
- Explain to your physician that you’d like a second opinion.
- Contact your insurance company and ask about their policy and plan coverage for second opinions.
- Select another provider on your own or one that your insurance company recommends.
- Obtain pertinent medical records, test results, and a list of your medications. You can usually arrange to have these directly sent to the specialist.
You can approach the conversation with your doctor by citing your desire to confirm your diagnosis, explore your options, and feel that you’re choosing the best care. As a professional radiation and cancer treatment center in Soldotna, AK, Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center is committed to helping you make informed decisions about your health. Contact us if you need advice about second opinions or to learn more about our services.