Second opinion

We are happy to see patients for a second opinion.

Making decisions about treatment for breast cancer can be stressful and confusing. Patients are often understandably upset by the unexpected news that they have cancer and feel an sense of urgency in getting rid of the tumour.

Modern breast cancer treatment means that there is often more than one option for treating a particular situation; for example deciding between breast conserving surgery or full mastectomy.

There is no rush to make decisions - taking a few days to discuss treatment options and to think about your decisions is perfectly fine. The cancer will not change significantly even over a period of 2 -3 weeks.

You should not feel hurried into committing to a particular procedure until it all makes sense and you feel comfortable with your doctor and the recommendations.

If you feel unclear about the choices offered, or unhappy with advice given by your doctor then ask for a second opinion.

Your doctor should be quite happy for this to happen.

We are happy to see patients seeking a second opinion at The Breast Centre. Cases can be discussed at our regular panel meeting that is attended by a whole group of breast specialists including a pathologist, radiologist, oncologist and breast surgeon.

The second opinion may well agree with the original recommendations. Occasionally the second opinion may provide an alternative approach that is simpler or produces a better result.

Make a list of questions so that you don't forget them when you come to your consultation. Bring someone along with you to your consultation - two sets of ears are better than one.

Don't pay too much attention to all that your friends and neighbours might say - everyone seems to have a horror story to relate about someone else with cancer - very few of these anecdotal stories are accurate or even relevant to your situation

Make sure that you understand what the biopsy has shown - not all cancers are the same

Ask what is the minimum treatment necessary to deal with the problem?

Bigger and more expensive treatment options are not always better

Ask what alternatives there are?.

 
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