IV. Securing a Second Opinion
Cancer treatment can be quite complex. Not surprisingly, some patients may not know where to start asking questions and, naturally, may wonder if another physician might offer something different in the way of treatment. Patients may find themselves wanting to talk with another doctor who can look at their test results, talk to them about their personal situation, and perhaps give them a different take on their case.
Some patients may find it difficult to tell their doctors that they would like to seek out a second opinion. Knowing that it is quite common for patients to seek out a second opinion may help in the pursuit of that second opinion. And most doctors are comfortable with the request. If you are uncertain as to how to begin, the following list of questions may aid in addressing the subject with your doctor:
Click to print questions
- Before we start treatment, I would like to get a second opinion. Will you assist me with that?
- If you had my type of cancer, who would you see for a second opinion?
- I think I would like to speak to another doctor to be sure I have all my bases covered.
- I’m thinking of seeking out a second opinion. Can you recommend someone? If so, who would you recommend and why?
Securing a second opinion can be facilitated through a referral from your doctor or you may wish to seek out a second opinion on your own and then have either your family doctor forward or the current treating physician forward the referral.
Once you have decided who you will see for your second opinion, ask that your medical records, original x-rays, and all test results be shared with the new doctor. This avoids having to repeat everything all over again. Having taken copies of all your test results throughout the process may facilitate the sharing of those results with your new doctor.