Cancer diagnosis and treatment is a matter of great concern. Positive outcomes depend on the level of comfort of the patient with the diagnosis and treatment plan. A second opinion plays an important part in the form of essential guidance for a viable cancer treatment plan. It gives an opportunity to intertwine several aspects of cancer care such as collaborative care, specialist participation, chemotherapy, and the involvement of a tumor board.
The Why and How of a Second Opinion
Second opinions are essential aspects of cancer therapy from several different perspectives. First, it is the right of the patient to get a second opinion and scrutinize all treatment options. It could be the chosen preference of your doctor. Further, it is especially useful when a rare form of cancer is detected. Finally, a second opinion is the best way to address situations when the diagnosis or treatment is either not clear or when the patient is not comfortable.
To find out if you need chemotherapy for your cancer diagnosis, you may have to carry your medical records, prescriptions, and a list of questions to ask your doctor. A second opinion will eventually provide two options to patients. Although you may have opposing perspectives after a second opinion, you may decide to go with either of the doctors and change your treatment based on the available information.
Interesting Aspects of a Second Opinion
The most interesting aspect of a second opinion is that it helps to make an educated decision about possible treatment options. Furthermore, the second opinion leads to a more refined diagnosis as confirmed by a Mayo Clinic study with 286 patients, that was conducted in 2017. According to the study, 66% of the patients received a refined diagnosis and 21% left with a “distinctly different” diagnosis.
A second opinion could be the best course of action when your symptoms persist even after your treatment. In many cases like chronic pain, a second opinion provides answers to unaddressed symptoms. Other scenarios when a second opinion proves useful include rare diseases and invasive surgeries.
Finally, cancer is another area that requires a second opinion. A second opinion for cancer eliminates the confusion experienced by most patients. Patients often feel more empowered by a second opinion and are able to confidently select a course of action.
What to Expect from Chemotherapy and how to Cope with it
Chemotherapy experiences differ from person to person. Patients may have different types of emotional and physical perceptions. They may experience different side effects and physicians may have their unique approaches to manage the side effects of chemotherapy based on their experience. Most people do not report any significant symptoms during the first few hours of chemotherapy. The reaction starts after about four to six hours. Sometimes, the reaction may not start even after about four 12 hours or even 1-2 days have lapsed after treatment. Patients respond differently and the oncologist and patient may make a joint decision on the course of treatment. They may weigh the benefits against the adverse effects to determine whether to continue with the chemotherapy treatment.
To achieve good results with chemotherapy, patients are often advised to undertake any major dental work prior to treatment, get their teeth cleaned, and take the support of a family member or friend for their emotional well-being.
So Can a Second Opinion Help You Avoid Chemotherapy?
A second opinion is a fair chance to make better decisions for your cancer treatment. You may not be able to avoid chemotherapy as your doctor’s decision depends on several different factors including the stage of your cancer, apparent symptoms, and treatment goals. However, you may be able to arrive at a solution that guarantees optimal treatment outcomes for your specific case.
KareOptions can help you make the best decisions about your cancer diagnosis and treatment by providing a range of services including the Medical Second Opinion Service (MSOS) and Second Opinion Board review (SOBR). The Medical Second Opinion Service (MSOS) is a detailed review of your chemotherapy diagnosis and treatment by a team of experts. In addition, we cater to your needs through a holistic approach to a multidisciplinary expert review of your treatment and diagnosis. Our Second Opinion Board Review (SOBR) involves the participation of a multidisciplinary team of experts present globally.