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Second opinion?


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Guest Cheryl Schaefer

Most doctors welcome a patient asking for a second opinion. You have all the rights to your records. All you need to do is ask. No special protocol needed.


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Hey luc,

We went to our primary care physician and he referred us to another cancer center, sent all records etc. When we got the news that our cancer center felt surgery was not possible we discussed it with our primary and he sent us to the U of MI. hospital for a second opinion. As he explained to us, these guys have so much business they couldn't care less. Also, our oncologists seemed happy we went, weren't offended at all but then U of M concurred with their opinion.

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My mom was in the same place that you are...I was insisting she receive a second opinion, because she was told surgery wasn't an option (I also fully believe you should always receive a second opinion when give the diagnosis of cancer). My mom was concerned about insulting her oncologist by receiving her records, etc. Of course, I said right now you have to be more concerned about your feelings and your life. If you are being treated by someone that gets their feelings hurt because you are seeking the best treatment possible, then I am not sure you would want them as your oncologist. Finally, my mom relented and she received her records from her oncologist's office. I also agree with other comments that most of the oncologists expect and even welcome a second opinion. If you are going to put your life and treatment into someone else's hands, make sure they are the hands you want helping you. All my best, Andrea

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Just ask your doctor for a copy of all test results and reports. You don't have to divulge that you want a second opinion. You're entitled to your own records, and you could just say you want them for yourself.

I've collected copies of all my reports since my diagnosis, and realized I had never received the surgeon's or pathology report from my pleurectomy. So I asked my onc for copies at last visit -- no problem. When I went to today for my weekly CBC I asked the lab tech for a copy of that as well -- no problem, no questions.

I'm going to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey for a second opinion on Monday. While I've been very happy with my treatment so far and my onc's apparent knowledge, I'm not so satisified that his future treatment plan represents my only option. Since he's a general medical oncologist he may not be aware of the most recent developments (which seem to change monthly!), and the cancer center has a Thoracic Team that specializes in only chest cancers.

Since I've had a quite tolerable time with Taxol/Carboplatin in three week cycles (I've had 5), and my blood counts have stayed remarkably steady, I've just *got* to believe there're some more aggressive options out there for me to try to lick this thing!

I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Barb :D

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