Should I Get a Second Opinion On My Prostate Cancer Diagnosis?
It’s always recommended when being diagnosed with prostate cancer to get a second opinion before deciding on a course of treatment. A second opinion is simply seeing another doctor in another hospital and getting their views and opinions on your initial diagnosis. Seeking a second opinion is an invaluable way for a patient to verify certain facts about prostate cancer in reference to their particular stage of cancer or location of the cancerous growth. It may even provide the patient an opportunity to participate in a new clinical study or access to newer forms of treatment. Often your doctor will even arrange for you to see another specialist before you make a decision to go forward with treatment.
Reason(s) for a Second Opinion:
For many patients diagnosed with prostate cancer there are a number of reasons for seeking a second opinion. Some patients simply want to confirm their diagnosis while others want additional facts to bolster what they’ve already been told regarding their condition. Other reasons for a second opinion include:
- Ensuring that they have the best treatment option(s) available to them
- They feel in inability to communicate effectively with their current doctor
- Prostate cancer is a complex disease and there are varying opinions on how to treat it
- Having a variety of available treatment options to choose from
- Reassurance that both doctors are in agreement in regards to your diagnosis and course of treatment
Many patients become concerned about possibly offending their doctors when inquiring about seeing another specialist about their diagnosis. However this is hardly a reason for concern as they will often confer with their colleagues about cases they find are either unique or complicated in nature.
Things to consider
Before you decide to ask your doctor for a second opinion give careful consideration to the exact reasons for wanting one. This is done to avoid wasting any considerable time, effort and money that it would take in order to see another doctor. If you do decide on getting a second opinion make preparations before your appointment such as:
- Writing down any questions you want to ask
- Give thought to exactly what it is you’re looking to get from seeing another doctor
- Keep a journal of your symptoms and any treatments you’ve had to reference during your appointment
Prior to your appointment your current doctor will forward any relevant information to the new doctor such as test results or any medications you may be taking, This is to give your new doctor some insight into your current state of health before they can come to their own conclusion on your condition. Once you have both assessments this will aid you on how you may wish to proceed.
You can then confer with your doctor with all the facts available on the best course of treatment for your prostate cancer. Just be sure not to take too long on deciding. While prostate cancer can be slow growing in most cases you don’t want to delay any treatment you may require to prevent further growth.