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Prostate Cancer Second Opinions

second opinion

It can be hard to make a decision about which prostate cancer treatment to have. It may be helpful to have the opinion of more than one doctor. Before starting treatment, men may want to have a second doctor review their diagnosis and treatment options. It is important to remember that a short delay in treatment will not reduce the chance that it will be successful. Some health insurance companies even require that cancer patients seek a second opinion, and many other companies will cover a second opinion if the patient requests it. There are a number of ways to find a doctor who can give a second opinion, including:

  • The primary doctor. The patient's primary doctor may be able to recommend a specialist. Doctors who specialize in treating prostate cancer include urologists (who perform the surgery), radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists. You may want to see all three of these specialists before making a treatment decision.

  • The Cancer Information Service. The Cancer Information Service, available by dialing 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237), informs callers of treatment facilities, including cancer centers and other programs supported by the National Cancer Institute.

  • Other options. Patients can get the names of doctors from local medical societies, a nearby hospital or medical school, local prostate cancer advocacy groups, and from other men who have had prostate cancer.

It is important to realize that the treatment recommendations made by a second doctor may be very different from those suggested by the first doctor. There is often more than one "right answer" for each case of prostate cancer. When getting a second opinion, a patient should be prepared to decide which recommendation feels right for him.