Why seek a second opinion for cancer diagnosis?
Cancer is a highly common and complex disease affecting millions of people worldwide. While a cure for cancer is still undiscovered, we have come a long way in terms of treatment effectiveness.
Dr Mandeep Singh says, “Today, we have various treatment options for most types and stages of cancer. There has been tremendous growth in cancer care ranging from modern technologies to the scope of diagnostic review. This allows patients to receive carefully mapped treatment.”
A cancer diagnosis can be very overwhelming and create a sense of urgency wanting you to start your treatment as early as possible. However, a hurry in deciding your treatment plan welcomes a scope of error. It is important to consider a second opinion if you have been diagnosed with cancer.
Why seek a second opinion for cancer treatment?
A second opinion is the review of your cancer diagnosis and established treatment recommendations. It allows you to explore and be confident about the next steps in your treatment journey.
A second opinion can help you:
Confirm your diagnosis
Nobody is prepared to learn that they have cancer. It is important to be sure of the type, stage, size and location of cancer before starting with its correction. You should always seek a second opinion to confirm your cancer diagnosis. It can help you avoid any detection errors or diagnostic dilemmas.
Explore your treatment options
A second opinion allows you to survey the variety of options you have. It gives you a chance to learn about new technologies available for your condition. A second opinion is even more important in complex conditions such as head and neck cancers. Cancer care involves a multidisciplinary approach. Considering a second opinion allows you to consider the experience of doctors, ICU backup and availability of critical care specialists.
Dr Mandeep adds, “We see a lot of patients who have been recommended to get mastectomy for breast cancer. When they seek a second opinion from us, we give them a better alternative such as breast preservation. Similarly, some doctors directly prefer to do surgery while we check patients for how they are responding and offer them options like immunotherapy.”
Be confident about your treatment
Cancer is a long-term illness. It, thus, requires long-term care. Once you decide on a treatment protocol, you will be deciding on a long-term relationship with your cancer care team. You should ensure that you are comfortable with your oncological team and their approach. A second opinion can help certify that.
Be prepared for surgery
Availing cancer care is not limited to undergoing clinical treatments. It also involves amplified awareness and education of your care plan. A second opinion is your chance to not only learn about different options you have but also the way they will be used for treating your cancer. This information can help you prepare for surgery if needed.
Dr Mandeep Singh adds, “While cancer is a life-threatening illness, a second opinion can be a life-saving measure. If you have received diagnoses for a rare or even common type of cancer, consider seeking a second opinion at the Oncology Centre, CK Birla Hospital.”