Hodgkin's Lymphoma

How do people get a second opinion for Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment options. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true. Most doctors welcome a second opinion. And many health insurance companies will pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. Some insurance companies actually require a second opinion.

If you get a second opinion, the second doctor may agree with your first doctor's diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Or, the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control. You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you've looked at all of your options.

It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In most cases, it's not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Some people with Hodgkin lymphoma need treatment right away.

Clinical trials for treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma

For anyone thinking about cancer treatment, clinical trials are an option. Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. They are an option for all stages of cancer.

Cancer research has led to real progress in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. Because of research, most people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma can now be cured, or their disease can be controlled for many years. Doctors continue to search for new and better ways to treat Hodgkin lymphoma.

Like all other treatment options, clinical trials have possible benefits and risks. But, by looking closely at all options, including clinical trials, you are taking an active role in a decision that affects your life.

Even if you don't benefit directly from the treatment under study, you may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about Hodgkin lymphoma and how to control it. If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor.

NCI's website has a section called Learn About Clinical Trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learningabout. You can learn about:

  • What clinical trials are and why they are important
  • How your safety is protected
  • Who pays for clinical trials
  • What to think about if you're deciding whether to take part in a clinical trial
  • What to ask your doctor

In addition, NCI's Cancer Information Service can answer your questions and provide information about clinical trials. Contact CIS at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or at LiveHelp (https://livehelp.cancer.gov).

You can search for clinical trials of Hodgkin lymphoma at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/search on NCI's website.

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