NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma

82 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Melanoma, 2018 6  Making treatment decisions Deciding between options Deciding between options Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors from different fields of medicine may have different opinions on which option is best for you. This can be very confusing. Your spouse or partner may disagree with which option you want. This can be stressful. In some cases, one option hasn’t been shown to work better than another, so science isn’t helpful. Some ways to decide on treatment are discussed next. Getting a 2 nd opinion Even if you like and trust your doctor, it is helpful to get a 2 nd opinion. You will want to have another doctor review your test results. He or she can suggest a treatment plan or check the one you already heard about. Things you can do to prepare: † † Check with your insurance company about its rules on 2 nd opinions. You want to know about out-of-pocket costs for doctors who are not part of your insurance plan. † † Make plans to have copies of all your records sent to the doctor you will see for your 2 nd opinion. Do this well before your appointment. If you run into trouble having records sent, pick them up and bring them with you. If the new doctor offers other advice, make an appointment with your first doctor to talk about the differences. Do whatever you need to feel confident about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Getting support Support groups often include people at different stages of treatment. Some may be in the process of deciding while others may be finished with treatment. At support groups, you can ask questions and hear about the experiences of other people with melanoma. If your hospital or community doesn’t have support groups for people with melanoma, check out the websites on the next page. You can also reach out to a social worker or psychologist. They can help you find ways to cope or refer you to support services. These services may also be available to your family, friends, and to those with children, so they can connect and get support. Keep in mind... ü Every treatment option has benefits and risks. Consider these when deciding which option is best for you. ü Talking to others may help learn about benefits and risks you haven’t thought of.