Mesothelioma Second Opinions
Mesothelioma is one of the hardest diseases to properly diagnose. In order to ensure the best treatment, patients should always seek a second opinion.
Why Second Opinions?
A mesothelioma diagnosis can be a daunting prospect, but patients shouldn’t let it limit their treatment options. A second opinion can open the door to an array of treatments that weren’t previously available and can even lead to longer survival times. Furthermore, patients should never feel hesitant to ask for a second opinion.
Second Opinions Can Give Hope
It is well known in the medical community that second opinions save lives. Getting a 100 percent correct diagnosis is key to receiving the right treatment, and it may even open up more treatment options.
More Treatment Options
This is the greatest benefit of second opinions. While not everyone is offered more treatment options upon a second opinion, there is only one way to know if you are being offered the full gamut of treatments.
Getting a second opinion also helps patients feel more confident in the treatment they are receiving. Being certain about your diagnosis and treatment can bring peace of mind and relieve stress.
Get a Second Opinion
Why Get a Second Opinion?
- It will provide peace of mind that your diagnosis is accurate.
- It can open up new treatment options that may be more effective for you.
- Up to 60 percent of second opinions have led to a significant change in treatment and prognosis.
Asking for a Second Opinion
Patients may not feel obligated to ask for a second opinion. In fact, patients may feel it is a sign of disrespect to go elsewhere for another opinion. However, second opinions are essential for patients to get the best treatment possible. It’s also one of the important ways they can take their outcome into their own hands.
Patients can simply tell their doctor they would like to get a second opinion. Oftentimes, doctors will even be able to recommend another doctor in the field. There are also other ways to go about getting a second opinion, such as searching through your insurance network for available mesothelioma doctors or using our free Doctor Match program.
Why You Should Seek a Second Opinion
Relative to the number of cancer specialists in the country, there are very few mesothelioma specialists. Due to the rarity of mesothelioma, cancer centers and doctors often disagree about the best methods to treat mesothelioma. Therefore, second opinions can illuminate more paths toward treatment than the patient may have thought.
“My strong advice to patients is to always ask for a second opinion,” says mesothelioma specialist Dr. Michele Carbone.
A good example of disagreement among doctors is the pleural mesothelioma surgical debate. There are currently two surgical procedures for pleural patients: the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and the pleurectomy with decortication (P/D).
The debate ensues because the P/D doesn’t remove the whole lung like the EPP, but it also doesn’t remove as much of the tumor. Therefore, it depends on each doctor’s opinion as well as the patient’s diagnosis to determine what the best method is.
In a scenario such as this, second opinions can be essential to deter professional bias among mesothelioma specialists. Although specialists will suggest treatment with their best intentions, doctors may have unintentional bias and a second opinion can safeguard against this.
Second Opinions Before Surgery
As with any operation, whether it’s mesothelioma-related or not, a second opinion should always be made before undergoing any major surgical operation. This makes it imperative for mesothelioma patients to get a second opinion, especially considering surgeries for mesothelioma are harder than for other cancers.
The pros of surgeries, such as an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), may not always outweigh the cons. Mesothelioma tumors are scattered and hard to resect compared with other cancers. The added stress of the procedure may negatively impact the patient’s quality of life, and there are mortality risks as well.
Mesothelioma specialists are generally very thorough with their diagnoses before recommending surgery. However, being certain that the procedure suggested by your doctor is right for you can provide confidence and relief in your treatment. You can learn more about the pros and cons of surgery in our free Mesothelioma Guide.