The most important first step following any cancer diagnosis is finding a skilled doctor for a second opinion. This is particularly important for mesothelioma patients because the disease is so difficult to treat. Asbestos trust funds make it so all mesothelioma patients have the financial means to seek medical opinions from the leading mesothelioma doctors nationwide.
Mesothelioma symptoms are easy to miss and even easier to misdiagnose. Most doctors will only see one or two cases in their careers, so they don’t know what to look for and often overlook what would be obvious to a doctor who specializes in treating this specific type of cancer.
Getting a second opinion might seem overwhelming. You might feel as though you’re offending your doctor. You might worry you do not have the money to afford it. Neither is true. Reputable doctors welcome the chance to give patients peace of mind. Money for treatment, travel and other expenses are readily available through asbestos trust funds.
Benefits of Second Opinions
Getting a second opinion is a crucial step in your treatment plan. Local oncologists are not experienced enough with the disease to recommend treatment. Having a mesothelioma specialist recommend your treatment plan can help in the following ways:
- Improve Your Survival Rate – Studies show that second opinions improve survival rates because they help your oncologist determine the best way to treat your asbestos cancer. In addition, your second-opinion doctor may be able to offer life-saving treatments that the initial doctor did not provide.
- Get the Latest Treatments – Some doctors will only offer the most known treatments instead of the new and emerging treatments. While there are no guarantees that your second-opinion doctor will offer anything different than the initial doctor, it’s important to try.
Important Medical Information
Immediately following a diagnosis, it’s important to ask for the following medical information so a patient advocate can better assist you:
- Pathology reports
- Microscopic glass slides
- Wax blocks of blood or tumor
- Imaging reports
- Surgical oncology reports
- Doctor’s notes
Have your questions answered by a patient advocate now.
Top Treatment Centers
Most of the notable medical centers have second-opinion programs that allow patients to bypass some of the tedious and time-consuming testing. Having immediate access to funds to pay for second opinions makes the process much easier and quicker. The best treatment centers to seek a second opinion include:
- Brigham & Women’s Hospital – Boston – The hospital’s International Mesothelioma Program performs second opinions to confirm a diagnosis, provide details for the type and stage of mesothelioma and give information about treatment options, among other things.
- Pacific Meso Center – Los Angeles – A division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, the center focuses on finding a cure for mesothelioma. Dr. Robert Cameron serves as the center’s scientific advisor.
- American Cancer Society. Getting a second opinion. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/talkingaboutcancer/index
- WebMD. Cancer: When Do You Need a Second Opinion, and Why?. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/cancer-when-do-you-need-a-second-opinion-and-why