NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 86

86
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
Part 8: Accepting a treatment plan
and get copies of your medical records. Fourth, accept
help from others. An active role doesn’t mean going
through it alone. Others can help you be active by finding
information, taking notes, asking questions, and helping
you talk through your options.
8.4 Getting a 2nd opinion
The time around a cancer diagnosis can be very
stressful. People with cancer often want to start treatment
as soon as possible. They want to make the cancer go
away before it spreads any further. While cancer can’t be
ignored, there is time to think about and choose which
treatment plan is best for you.
You may wish to have another doctor review your
test results and the treatment plan your doctor has
recommended. This is called getting a 2nd opinion.
Melanoma is a serious disease, and new information may
have been published about which treatments are most
effective and safe. You may completely trust your doctor,
but a 2nd opinion on which treatment is right for you
can help.
Copies of the pathology report, a CD of the imaging tests,
and other test results need to be sent to the doctor giving
the 2nd opinion. Some people feel uneasy asking for
copies from their doctors. However, a 2nd opinion is a
normal part of cancer care. When doctors have cancer,
most will talk with more than one doctor before choosing
their treatment. What’s more, some health plans require
a 2nd opinion. If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost
of a 2nd opinion, you have the choice of paying for it
yourself.
Choosing your cancer treatment is a very important
decision. It can affect length and quality of life. There are
few cancers that are so aggressive that you can’t take
a few weeks to get a 2nd opinion and select the best
treatment for you.
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