Should I Get A Second Opinion On Pathology Reports Or Scans?

Question asked by Jenn Tracz: I would like to know if I should seek a second opinion on anything beyond my treatment plan. For example, should another physician read my pathology reports or my scans?

Answer from Karleen Habin, R.N.: Jenn, this is a common question in terms of getting second and third opinions -- and, I think, one that I often tell patients is a very good idea. Why? Often, by going for a second or third opinion, you're actually validating some of the information you have previously heard. It's also another set of eyes to review possibly your pathology, your X-rays, your history, your genetic information -- and try to put everything together in one big puzzle.

If you have a second opinion, and you hear the same thing, you might feel a lot more comfortable going into that treatment. Some people have also come to me and said, "I asked for a second opinion and my physician told me I was at the right place and that there was absolutely no need for a second opinion." That, to me, is sometimes a red flag. I'd say, "Hmm."

Usually, your physician would want you to get a second opinion. And I think, if your physician is open and honest with you, and doesn't feel threatened by that information, they should actually refer you or provide you with names of individuals that you could go to.