Esophageal Cancer - Second Opinion

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How did you go about getting a second opinion for your esophageal cancer?

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Second Opinion

Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. You may want to find a medical center that has a lot of experience with treating esophageal cancer. You may even want to talk to several different doctors about all of the treatment options, their side effects, and the expected results.

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.

If you get a second opinion, the second doctor may agree with your first doctor's diagnosis and treatment plan. 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 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.

There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.

Return to Esophageal Cancer

See what others are saying

Comment from: crystalbay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

In 2010, an endoscopy found a 2cm tumor at the junction of my esophagus and stomach (adenocarcinoma) and I was scheduled for the Ivor Lewis surgery 2 weeks later. A friend insisted that I get a second opinion at Mayo in MN. This saved my life because only there was the exacting endoscopic ultrasound done. My PET had shown no lymph node involvement, but the EUS found a tiny hot node on my stomach. As a result, weeks of chemo and radiation were ordered prior to the surgery. I spent nearly four months in the hospital on a feeding tube following the surgery, but eventually recovered. Other than being a tiny size zero as a result, I've had 8 clean PET scans and am now 3 years out.

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