Second Medical Opinion Helps You to Find the Best Solution
Cancer is the second most common cause of death across the world. Despite rapid medical advancements and innovation in new drugs, cancer remains a major threat to our society. Cancer can originate in any part of the body and often involves multiple organs if not diagnosed early. Identifying all the organs involved in the cancer is the key to treat it. The majority of times cancer often represents an acute symptom in one part of the body while other organs are involved but have limited or no symptoms. It is very important that no detail should be ignored during the cancer diagnosis.
The second medical opinion is a service where patients can seek an alternate evaluation of his or her diagnosis and course of treatment by another specialist doctor to confirm the diagnosis and validate the treatment plan. Studies have shown that up to 15 percent of patients who have sought a second opinion have found that their initial diagnosis has changed and another 17% have found an improved diagnosis. In many cases, the initial treatment plan did not match with the alternate advice.
Although taking second opinions is not a new concept, as a medical service it has been gaining popularity in recent times. It is quite common for patients to seek second opinions, especially for life-threatening illnesses like cancer. Cancer is a complex disease and requires a multi-disciplinary approach in treating a patient. Oftentimes patients only consult with local oncologists whose capability of diagnosing and offer treatment plans may be biased by their experience and availability of local treatment options, it is advisable to consider a multi-disciplinary review or at least getting a second opinion by other oncologists.
The treatment of cancer depends on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health. Take time to learn about all of your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Such a review can provide a validation of the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Getting the right diagnosis can substantially improve the treatment plan, thus preventing chances of mistreatment and optimizing medical expenses. In a disease like cancer when one does not have enough time, the right treatment is as important as the treatment itself as there is no scope for a second chance for most patients. Hence, it is prudent to get a second opinion to ensure the best chances of recovery.
Talk with your doctor about the goals of each treatment and what you can expect while receiving the treatment. These types of talks are called “shared decision making.” Shared decision-making is when you and your doctors work together to choose treatments that fit the goals of your care. Shared decision-making is particularly important for cancer because there are different treatment options. Worried about your treatment plan? Don’t bother much, request an opinion today!
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