Asking for a second opinion

It often takes a group of various healthcare professionals to work together to narrow down or confirm your diagnosis.

For this reason, you may feel confident about the diagnosis you have been given. In the event that you have any doubts about your diagnosis or treatment plan, you may want to get a second medical opinion before beginning or continuing treatment. You can request a second opinion so don’t be afraid to do so, but beware that it may cause a delay in your treatment.

Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative neoplasms are each different types of blood cancers. What's more, each disease has subtypes. This means that the signs of the disease, how it's diagnosed and treated, and the expected outcomes vary. That's why it's important to have the right diagnosis before you begin or continue with treatment.
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Getting a Second Opinion

What to do when getting a second opinion

To get a second opinion, you can ask your current healthcare team for any recommendations or to refer you to other doctors. Your primary healthcare provider, such as your family doctor, may also be able to help. In some cases, there may not be available doctors in your area to provide a second opinion.

Deciding if you should get a second opinion

If you're not sure about getting a second opinion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • Am I satisfied with my specialist's qualifications and experience?

  • Has the specialist explained my diagnosis and treatment options in a way that I understand?

  • Am I satisfied with the expertise of the medical professionals involved in determining my diagnosis?

  • Does the specialist's approach, treatment plan and treatment centre meet my needs regarding health plan coverage and/or location?

  • Do I feel comfortable asking all my questions?

  • Does the specialist take the time to address my concerns respectfully and completely or do I feel rushed?

  • Are the nurses and support staff well-informed and courteous? Are they available to help me with billing concerns, medication questions, referrals to support organizations and other information?

You have the right to change doctors. 

When you let your current doctor know about your decision, you don't have to give reasons. It's enough to tell him or her that you're doing what's best for you.

Changing Doctors

If the second opinion you receive is different from the first, you may decide to change doctors. If you're considering changing your doctor, take these steps:

  • Ask if the doctor is seeing new patients.

  • Schedule a consultation visit.

  • Arrange to have your records sent to the new doctor.

  • Check with the new doctor's office before your consultation visit to make sure your records have arrived.

  • Talk to your current doctor about your decision.