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QESTION : are 2nd opinion's necessary/ recomended?

Guest robd1

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hello all, hope your day was good.!! still waiting for PET SCAN results...from doctor.! earlier tests indicate nsclc stageIIIb,,..

but once we receive these (PET) ,, is it necessary to get 2nd opinion? is there alot of room for interpretation? and if so,, for what?-- treatment,, actual pathologist findings?/ results?

so many folks here, seem very greatful for 2nd opinions?

so new, to this,.. wondering what to do next ?

much thx ..be well!..

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Hi Rob

I/we did not get a 2nd opinion for my mom as we were happy with the doc as well as the plan of action. Sometimes people seek another opinion, not so much as a different dx, but there is just something about the doc that doesnt click. You have to trust this person, and he/she needs to be someone who you can talk/relate too. Some dr just dont seem to care about the patient. Or I have seen on here where people compared their treatment to other treatment. When they didnt match up they might refer to another dr.

At this point I would wait and see what the Petscan shows and hear your docs plan of action and if at that time you for some reason dont like what you hear, then maybe seek another opinion. And of course you can come here and tell us and someone will know if the treatment recommended is

pretty much standard, or just answer any questions you have.

Just be sure your doc is someone who talks to you and helps you to understand whats going on.

Please keep us posted and you and your family is in my prayers

God Bless


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It's a feeling thing.

My first doctor told me how horrible it was and to get my affairs in order. Well at 37yr old, that's bull. We need to fight and do it together. I saw one of his associates. Things were good in the beginning.......then side affects and reactions started to happen and my doctor didn't really believe me. I started to confide in my radiation oncologist and she believed and helped me. I just tried to make it through treatment feeling very alone (thank goodness for this board, they pulled me through it).

After treatment was over and the doc said that if the cancer came back it didn't matter if it was caught at 3mths or 12mths......I said that's it. I think it kinda matters if it's caught at 3 or 12 months!

I now have a doctor that is a fighter and works WITH ME not against me, plus he thinks I'm interesting (cause of everything that happens to me). Although I don't like seeing him, I am far more comfortable seeing him.

I have a colon cancer friend and his doc was going to treat him the same way he did two years ago when he was first dx.......well how much sense is that, it didn't work the first time, why is it now?! Plus the doctor said they were not looking for a cure.......Mike started to plan his funeral, he went and saw my doctor and.......he gave him hope, changed the drugs, and gave him hope (I say it again). He didn't say ...oh I can cure you....but he said they would work together and try everything he could think of.

It's just my opinion.........good luck and keep us posted.

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As Beth said, it kind of depends on the communication and confidence you have in your doc in considering seeking a second opinion. Sometimes a different doc will give a different point of view or suggest some different options. we got a second opinion and felt more comfortable with having the diagnosis comfirmed. Our options are pretty limited here in Lubbock, Texas unless we want to do a lot of traveling. and there are the insurance problems. The school where my husband works got cheaper health insurance for all the employees. Hopefully you have a lot of choices where you live. Always keep yourself informed about your situation, treatment options and clinical trials. Hope things work well for you and God blesses you. pammie

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I think that a good oncologist will encourage you to get two opinions.

When you go into treatment, I think that you may fare better having the confidence that you explored your options. Once the treatment starts, it is hard to switch treatments or oncologists mid stream.

Best of luck to you and your dad,

Cindi o'h

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as i understand it, PET scan interpretations are subjective as they show a rate of uptake by tissue. usually, if a PET scan shows localized tumor an analysis will be undertaken to see if a biopsy if feasible. tissue extracted by biopsy is viewed by a pathologist under a microscope.

the individual viewing a scan or actual tissue has to make interpretative decisions. i haven't heard that there are specialists who should be consulted with lung cancer as there are with colon cancer.

there are several doctors involved in assessing wisdom of lung surgery including a cardiologist, oncologist, pulmonologist, and surgeon. it is beneficial to have these consult to cross verify between themselves that surgery is appropriate and possibly curative.

generally reference to second opinions pertains to seeking out the views of doctors at major cancer centers. i just got a second opinion from a major cancer center last week and posted about it a couple days ago if you want to see my reaction.

it does make sense to get as much input as is reasonably feasible.

best of luck with this.

love, ken

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For us. we got a second opinion when they said surgery would not be possible. We wanted to make sure as we were hoping the chemo and radiation would shrink it enough to be removed. I think you seek a second opinion if you don't like the first one. :wink:

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My mom did not ask for a second opionion but the primary physician sent her to the pulmonary surgeon who sent her to the radioligist and chemo doc who then worked together to be sure she was diagnosed properly and to find a plan of action. Necessary or not what will it hurt? My mom was upset that it took the doctors a month before doing anything. She said her tumor is just gettting bigger and it was scary for her. Best of luck


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THe way I look at is that you get 2-4 estimates for work on your house (essentially 2nd opinions), look at a few models when you buy a car or house, why not take the time when it involves cancer?

Call ALCASE and other places to find recommendations for Drs.

Below is a list of NCI designated centers. They have to meet certain requirements to be qualified as a NCI designated center

http://www3.cancer.gov/cancercenters/ce ... st.html#L7

It is worth it to do this up front as it does limit the choices to some extent down the line as Cindy mentioned

If you are interested in clinical trials then it is VERY important to investigate those first since treatment will limit was is available later


Good luck

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If I remember correctly Dave's insurance (which is an HMO I think) would only pay for one second opinion, so we decided to "save it" in case things got bad and we wanted to try a big cancer center like Johns Hopkins.

But, the biggest thing I would do NOW, is RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH - so you are somewhat educated on your options and then when you meet with the onco doc you will have a better feeling if he's leading you it the right direction.

I think John provided some good resources.


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