Thursday, February 10, 2011

In My Opinion - Get a "Second" Opinion

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Always get a second opinion when your cancer diagnosis does not look favourable!!!

NONSENSE - you might say!  Well it's your life, but my husband and I know from a personal point of view that had we not gotten a second opinion he would have passed away at least three years ago.  You might think that the fact we got that second opinion and he's still here, was just sheer luck, but not so.  The second opinion has gotten my husband through the most difficult times when his CT or MRI reports were devastating and it's happened more than once. 

I find this is very sad actually - when you think that the medical community who we all put such great trust in, has such diverse opinions on a patient's life after reading his/her diagnostic reports.  The key word here is READING.  OK, let me go back a step to clarify.

Did you know that your oncologist or family doctor might not even have taken a look at your CT or MRI report themselves?  Yes, that's right!  Now I've gotten your attention. These reports are viewed by the hospital's radiologist and tumors are measured and the report is written compared to your previous one.  Ah...but the fact is, what if the radiologist fails to measure the results accurately - do you think that could ever happen?  Well, if a nurse can proceed to hang a bag of IV without even asking the patient's name (only to find it's not the correct patient!!!), yes, you can be &$%#@# (pardon my French) sure that the person who initially writes up a diagnostic report can also make errors.  After all, we are all only human?  Hey, right - we are talking about the LIFE here of a patient and that is something that should not be taken lightly at any given time.

Maybe your oncologist does read your reports, but I'm planting this seed for you to remember just in case you ever do receive that bad medical diagnosis and something in your gut keeps saying "there must be a mistake because I'm feeling so great?"   It is your right as a patient to seek another medical opinion if you think you should.  If you present doctor flinches at the mere thought of you even suggesting you would like a second report, then that's not professional at all.


Go seek out an oncologist who "specializes" in your type of cancer  if and when you are ever in doubt - do your homework - that is my best advice.

Oh, and by the way, are you certain just what TYPE of cancer you have???  That's a topic for another day.


Sue said...

I never knew that sometimes doctors don't always look at the diagnostic reports themselves. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow Debbie! This really makes me look at things from a different angle. We have such trust in doctor's sometimes, not realizing that "they" are NOT always right! This post is a real opener. Thank you Deb for your continued encouragement, knowledge and support. You should be a spokesperson for those with this terrible illness. God bless!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the post. I would also suggest going for second when you feel the results went wrong!