In the first hours and days after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, your world can quickly become tumultuous and overwhelming. Fear about your life, your family, your treatment and outcome are thrust into your world overnight. New and complicated terminologies such as staging and chemotherapy become suddenly important to understand.
Sorting through it all
Your physician who has delivered this news to you may make suggestions that you are unsure of. There are many different approaches to this condition, and every physician may think differently. Arming yourself with as much education as you can be very helpful in assisting you with making the best decisions about your care. This is where seeking a second opinion can be very helpful. In case of a cancer diagnosis, time is your biggest ally.
Many insurance providers allow coverage for seeking a second opinion. In many cases, it is in their best interest because a second opinion may offer lower cost and a more effective treatment that isn’t as invasive. If the original treatment is confirmed, providing coverage for the initial diagnosis and procedure can save costs down the road and provide you with a more comfortable approach to healing. By coordinating the two opinions and deciding what is best for you, you will be more informed and able to understand your condition better. In some cases, your insurance carrier may require a second opinion in order to manage your case better. There are case management specialists available to speak with who can help you navigate your care and assist you with answering questions and helping you find additional services.
Peace of Mind
As a breast cancer patient, it is within your rights to seek out a second opinion. In most cases, the diagnosis is confirmed, and you can continue your treatment knowing you sought out another view of your case. There are some instances when getting a second opinion is essential. If you have been in disagreement with your physician or don’t have the best doctor-patient relationship, getting another opinion might help ease your mind.
If you have a very rare form of cancer, getting a second opinion from a physician who might have more familiarity with positive outcomes, and recent treatment developments can be extremely helpful. Also, if your doctor tells you that there is no treatment available for the form of cancer you have, asking for a second opinion is the obvious choice. Being proactive and seeking out as much information as possible can not only alter your treatment and outcome, but it can save your life.