Getting a second opinion for your mesothelioma diagnosis can help improve your confidence in your doctor and the treatments he or she prescribes for you. It can assure you that you are getting the best care possible.
How to Get a Second Opinion For Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis
- Check with your insurance or health plan administrator to see if they’ll cover it. Most will and some even require a second opinion for cancer treatments. If not, talk to your lawyer –by now you should be retaining one anyway. At our office, we gladly advance the costs of a non-covered second opinion from a recognized specialist with vast mesothelioma experience for clients who want one.
- Ask your oncologist or primary care physician to refer you to another specialist for a second opinion.
- Ask friends and family for the name of someone they like. Or look for a doctor on the website of a cancer treatment center or hospital near you. We have a list of doctors who specialize in the treatment of mesothelioma here on our website.
Will My Doctor Be Offended If I Want a Second Opinion?
It is natural to be concerned that your doctor may feel offended if you want to get a second opinion about your mesothelioma diagnosis or treatment plan. But there is no need to feel that way. You have received a diagnosis for a very serious illness. Your doctor should be supportive of your decision to get a second opinion so you will feel confident about being in his or her care. A doctor who is not sympathetic to your need for a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma or the appropriateness of your treatment plan would not be a doctor you want to accompany you on this next crucial phase of your life.
3 Reasons to Get a Second Opinion For a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Getting a second opinion for a mesothelioma diagnosis needs no justification. But there are several instances when it is especially important.
- If you aren’t comfortable with your doctor. With a mesothelioma diagnosis, you are going to be seeing a lot of your doctor. If you don’t feel you can have a good working relationship with him or her, get a second opinion as a way to scout for another doctor.
- If your doctor does not have experience treating mesothelioma. Ask your primary care doctor, surgeon and oncologist directly about whether he or she has experience treating mesothelioma. If not, you should try to locate someone who is familiar with mesothelioma and definitely get a second opinion from them.
- If your doctor is not amenable to the type of treatment you want. Mesothelioma is a swift and lethal cancer. Time is critical and you need a doctor who is willing to work with you to help you obtain the treatments you want to try. You may want to participate in an experimental clinical trial of a new drug or you may want to undergo a surgery that may be considered risky. At the very least, a second opinion may help you accept your doctor’s reasons for not pursuing a type of treatment if another doctor feels the same way. This is important information for you to have either way.
Do I Need More Than a Second Opinion?
If a second opinion is helpful, what about a third? Isn’t more information better? Perhaps not when it comes to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment plan. If two doctors have both given you the same information, it may not be the best use of your precious time and energy to find a third doctor who will likely come to the same conclusion. However, if you received two different opinions then you might want to opt for a third opinion.
Another instance when a third opinion for a mesothelioma diagnosis might be warranted would be if the two cancer specialists you met with disagreed about the best course of treatment for you. Maybe a lung specialist might recommend surgery and an oncologist might prefer limiting treatment to radiation and chemotherapy. In cases like this, getting a third opinion could help you decide what course of mesothelioma treatment to choose.