When facing a life-altering diagnosis such as breast cancer, a patient will likely have numerous questions. First, emotional questions like “What will happen to me?” come, only to be followed by practical inquiries like “Will my insurance cover it?” Before starting treatment, however, most physicians encourage patients to take a crucial but commonly overlooked step: ask for another opinion. Despite its importance, though, many patients fail to take that step. According to a recent study, 90% of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients didn’t ask for a second opinion. When facing such a severe illness, nothing should keep a patient from getting the care they need. Here are a few reasons to get a second opinion on a breast cancer diagnosis.
Reassurance and Peace of Mind
Cancer diagnoses are scary, and even if a patient has found a good treatment team, they may need reassurance that they’ve done the right thing. Sometimes, getting a second opinion is crucial, not just because it may offer different information but because it can confirm what the original team has said. With a second opinion, a patient can get the confidence needed to start the treatment journey.
Updated Cancer Treatment Technology
Medical knowledge about cancer and its treatment is constantly changing. Each year, studies bring insights that may lead to better treatments. While getting a second opinion, a patient may learn of new, nearby technologies that have recently emerged.
Access to New and Ongoing Clinical Trials
Clinical trials let doctors find new approaches to treating, preventing, and diagnosing diseases like breast cancer. Some doctors and breast cancer treatment teams can offer trials for advanced therapies that aren’t available anywhere else. Often, cancer patients obtaining second opinions will learn about upcoming clinical trials that fit their treatment plans.
The Road to Remission Starts With a Second Opinion
Breast cancer is a devastating disease, but it’s highly treatable like other types of cancer when detected early. No matter where a breast cancer patient gets a second opinion, they can take solace in the knowledge that there’s more hope for diagnosis and treatment today than there has ever been before. By seeking a second opinion, patients can get the information they need to make informed treatment decisions.