Second Opinions a First-Rate Tool After Cancer Diagnosis

Second opinions are of primary importance for patients planning treatment after cancer diagnoses.

Cancer patients rely heavily on their doctors to build treatment plans that provide the best chances at positive outcomes. While this trust is an important component of cancer care, however, patients shouldn’t shy away from seeking second opinions before beginning treatments.

"Getting the right diagnosis at the right time is a critical piece of information to ensure the best outcome,” the OSUCCC – James’ chief medical officer David Cohn, MD, says. “Second opinions can certainly save lives.”

Cohn recommends that after diagnoses, patients let their physicians know that they plan on seeking second opinions, even though the experience can sometimes be uncomfortable for patients hoping to avoid offending their doctors.

“It's important to recognize that if a physician makes a recommendation, she or he should be very comfortable having that patient seek a second opinion to validate that that first opinion was correct.”