Before starting treatment, you may want a second opinion about your diagnosis, the stage of cancer, and the treatment plan. You may also want to find a medical center that has a lot of experience treating people with pancreatic cancer. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true. Most doctors welcome a second opinion. Many health insurance companies will pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. Some companies require a second opinion.
If you get a second opinion, the second doctor may agree with your first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Or, the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control. You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you’ve looked at all of your options.
It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In most cases, it’s not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor.
Some tips that can help you talk with your doctors at your appointment:
- Bring someone with you – It is always helpful to have a second set of ears, someone to help take notes and someone to bring up other questions.
- Write out a list of questions before your appointment –The list will help to remind you of things to ask the doctor.
- Write down the answers you get – Writing down the answers in the office will help when you sit down with family and go over information to discuss from your appointment.
- If possible, record your appointment –It is okay to ask your doctor if you can record your appointment. Taping is helpful so that you can be sure you heard the correct information at your appointment.