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When facing a life-changing cancer diagnosis, you’re bound to have a lot of questions. First, there are the emotional ones like What’s going to happen to me? Or How serious is it? And then there are practical matters: Where should I go for treatment? What will I do about insurance?
Before you start mapping out a treatment plan, however, most doctors encourage patients to slow down and take a crucial, but often overlooked step: get a second opinion.
Many newly diagnosed cancer patients don’t get a second opinion because they (understandably) want to start treatment right away. But unless your cancer diagnosis requires emergency care, seeking a second opinion is often a wise choice. In fact, in many cases, seeking a second opinion is not only suggested, but necessary. These circumstances include anytime the following occurs:
Of course, even if you’ve already begun treatment and want a second opinion, it may still be possible to get one. However, it is best to look into it soon after a diagnosis has been made.
Aside from timing, cancer patients sometimes don’t seek a second opinion because they don’t want to compromise their relationship with their current doctor. Rest assured, when facing a serious illness like cancer, nothing should stand in your way of receiving care that provides the greatest opportunity for success and makes you feel comfortable. A medical professional should fully support and respect your choice to seek a second opinion, especially for any of these reasons:
No matter how or where you get a second opinion, newly diagnosed patients should take solace knowing that today, as cancer research continues to grow and develop, there’s more hope for cancer treatment and cancer diagnosis today than ever before.
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