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
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
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
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
Bigger and more expensive treatment options are not always
Ask what alternatives there are?.