At Willamette Valley Cancer Institute (WVCI), our cancer care team and support staff want you to seek cancer treatment where you’re most comfortable. A second opinion appointment can play an essential part in making that decision.
As a patient, you can make decisions about your cancer care, such as where to receive cancer treatment and what treatment plan to follow. It is important for you to feel confident in your decision and comfortable with the cancer specialists who will be taking care of you throughout this experience. Receiving a second opinion confirming a cancer diagnosis or being educated about your treatment options can be an important part of your and your family’s process to reach a decision.
Taking the extra time to see another cancer treatment specialist will allow you to determine other options that perhaps the first oncologist didn’t suggest. With so many advances in cancer treatments and technologies, including clinical research trials, some cancer centers may have a slightly different approach to treating your specific cancer type. You can discuss your initial diagnosis and recommended treatment plan to determine whether other options should be considered.
Second opinions should not offend oncologists, and you should not be worried that one of the doctors will be upset if you do not choose them. We encourage you to seek a second opinion, whether you received your first treatment plan from Willamette Valley Cancer Institute or another cancer treatment center.
What to Expect During a Second Opinion Appointment
During a second opinion appointment, the oncologist will most likely want to review your records. Be sure to bring the following items with you:
- Any medical records that include your cancer diagnosis and staging
- The results from your most recent blood tests
- The results of any biopsies performed
- Any images such as CTs, MRIs or PET Scans on discs
- Your recommended treatment plan
If the oncologist finds that they need more information, they can order additional tests.
The oncologist/hematologist will tell you if they agree with the initial diagnosis and recommended treatment plan based on the available information. If there is something else that they suggest, it will be discussed with you at this time.
In most cases, a second opinion gives patients the confidence they need to start a treatment program. If you feel more comfortable with one particular cancer care team and their treatment setting over another, we recommend you go there. If you choose the second doctor, it is courteous to tell the first doctor what you’ve decided by calling the office and telling your decision to the front desk staff. They will not be offended. They only want what is best for you.
Payment and Insurance
Most insurance companies will cover a second opinion assessment. If you’re not sure, contact your insurance company, and they will let you know.
Requesting a Second Opinion at WVCI
Patients diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder may request a secondary evaluation at WVCI. Whether you have been receiving care from another healthcare provider at WVCI or at another facility within or outside of our region, please call toll-free (888) 384-9822 to request an appointment. Our new patient schedulers can help determine which physician is best for you.