Getting a second opinion
Once you know your diagnosis and treatment options, you have to make some important decisions.
Your specialist will help with these, but some people also want to talk to another specialist about them. This is called getting a second opinion.
Not everyone wants a second opinion. It is your choice whether you do or not.
What you need to know
Do I need a second opinion?
It can be very confusing and stressful making decisions about cancer treatments. You may want to discuss this with another specialist to get a second opinion.
Reasons that people want another opinion include:
- feeling confused about their treatment options
- being unhappy with the treatment their specialist suggests
- not feeling comfortable with their specialist
- wanting more than one opinion before they make any decisions
- to feel reassured they are making the right decision.
Whatever the reason, it is not a problem to see another specialist. You can talk to your first specialist or to your GP about how to do this.
You may also need to consider other things, like whether getting a second opinion will delay the start of your treatment.
What to ask or talk about
How do I get a second opinion?
You can talk to your first specialist or to your GP about how to do this. You or your GP can also check the Canrefer site to find other specialists.
You will need a new referral before you see the second specialist.
It is useful to let your initial specialist know you are getting a second opinion so they can share the results of you tests with your second specialist. This avoids repeating tests unnecessarily.