The Colorectal Cancer Coalition strongly recommends that you consider a second, independent opinion from a multi-disciplinary team at a major cancer center:
- before beginning treatment
- if you have a recurrence
- if your cancer situation changes.
A second opinion may provide new options, the opportunity for a clinical trial, or simply a chance to understand your diagnosis more clearly.
- Locate a resource through NCI Cancer Centers Program.
- Call for an appointment and to find out what policies and procedures are for a second opinion.
- Arrange to have all your test results sent to the center.
- Check on costs, insurance coverage, and, if required, precertification of the professional services with your insurance.
- Remember to take your advocate with you to take notes.
Some patients and families are reluctant to seek a second opinion because they don’t want to hurt the feelings of their doctors or make them angry. A good health professional will always encourage you in finding another opinion so that you feel strong and comfortable about your care.
Very often arrangements can be made for you to have care or follow-up in your own community even if you are treated at a major cancer center or have a treatment plan made for you there.