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NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 1.2014

63

Weighing your options

Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors

from different fields of medicine may differ 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.

2

nd

opinion

The time around a cancer diagnosis is very stressful.

People with cancer often want to get treated as soon

as possible. They want to make their cancer go

away before it spreads farther. While cancer can’t be

ignored, there is time to think about and choose which

option is best for you.

You may wish to have another doctor review your test

results and suggest a treatment plan. This is called

getting a 2

nd

opinion. You may completely trust your

doctor, but a 2

nd

opinion on which option is best can

help.

Copies of the pathology report, a DVD of the imaging

tests, and other 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.

If the two opinions are the same, you may feel more

at peace about the treatment you accept to have.

If the two opinions differ, think about getting a 3

rd

opinion. A 3

rd

opinion may help you decide between

your options. Choosing your cancer treatment is a

very important decision. It can affect your length and

quality of life.

Support groups

Besides talking to health experts, it may help to talk

to patients who have walked in your shoes. Support

groups often consist of people at different stages of

treatment. Some may be in the process of deciding

while others may be finished with treatment. At

support group meetings, you can ask questions and

hear about the experiences of other patients.

Compare benefits and downsides

Every option has benefits and downsides. Consider

these when deciding which option is best for you.

Talking to others can help identify benefits and

downsides you haven’t thought of. Scoring each

factor from 0 to 10 can also help since some factors

may be more important to you than others.

6

Making treatment decisions

Weighing your options