Cancer Treatment Centers of America

The benefits of a second opinion


becoming a patient

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. You may be experiencing many different emotions right now, including feeling overwhelmed with all of the decisions you need to make. We’re here to help you through the process.

Exploring a second opinion can help you make a more informed decision about your cancer treatment. It can also introduce you to advanced treatment options.

Here are six benefits of getting a second opinion for your cancer care:

  1. Feel empowered and take control – By proactively seeking a second opinion, you and your loved ones become more informed about all of the available treatment options. Learning more about your cancer and your treatment options can also help you feel in control of your health.
  2. Confidence and peace of mind – A second opinion can help you feel more confident that you are choosing the right treatment plan. According to one study, one in eight cancer patients are misdiagnosed. In some cases, a second opinion might yield a different type or stage of cancer, which changes the treatment plan. If the original diagnosis is confirmed, a second opinion may provide additional treatment options for you to consider.
  3. Discover advanced treatment options – Some hospitals have technology that is not available at another facility. Seeking a second opinion from a doctor in another health system could provide more cancer treatment options, including treatments that are more advanced or more tailored to your individual needs.
  4. Find a doctor you really like – Most doctors understand that patients have a right to a second opinion and should not feel offended. In fact, many doctors encourage it before making a treatment decision. You are under no obligation to treat with the oncologist recommended by your primary doctor. When meeting with a new doctor, take note of the nurses and office staff, to make sure you choose to treat with the best team and/or hospital for your needs.
  5. You have a rare cancer – A rare cancer could mean a greater chance of misdiagnosis, since it may be a disease that the pathologist has rarely encountered. If you’ve been diagnosed with a rare cancer, a second opinion may be beneficial to confirm the disease type and stage.
  6. You’ve been told there is no hope – If one doctor says your cancer is untreatable, another doctor may explore additional treatment options with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting a second opinion.

Learn more about getting a second opinion. Or, view this infographic to understand the benefits of a second opinion.