NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 90

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Melanoma, Version 1.2014
88
6
Making treatment decisions
Getting a 2
nd
opinion
Getting a 2
nd
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 treatment
before it spreads any farther. 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 2
nd
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 2
nd
opinion on which treatment is
right for you can help.
Copies of all of the test results need to be sent to
the doctor giving the 2
nd
opinion. Some people feel
uneasy asking for copies from their doctors. However,
a 2
nd
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 2
nd
opinion. If your
health plan doesn’t cover the cost of a 2
nd
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 2
nd
opinion and select the
best treatment for you.
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