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Cervical Cancer Diagnosis - Should You Get a Second Opinion?

Why You May Need a Second Opinion After Being Diagnosed with Cervical Cancer


Updated June 13, 2008

After telling friends and family that they have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, many women find that the first question people ask is about second opinions.

A second is opinion is vital for many cervical cancer patients. It can confirm a cancer diagnosis or possibly introduce treatment options that the diagnosing physician wasn't aware of.

Why Patients Seek a Second Opinion

1. Insurance Companies Require a Second Opinion.
Most insurance companies require a second opinion before treatment is approved by them. In many cases, it is a matter of a second pathologist reviewing reports and labs. This is either done by a pathologist employed by the insurance company or another independent pathologist.

2. They Do Not Feel Comfortable with the Diagnosis.
It is common to feel doubt when diagnosed with a serious disease like cervical cancer. Many women seek a second opinion to confirm that indeed cervical cancer is present.

3. They Seek the Opinion of a Specialist.
Women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer often seek the opinion of a gynecologist oncologist, a doctor that specializes in treating gynecologic cancers. Women who are concerned with prescribed treatment often seek a gynecologic oncologist because they may be more aware of other available treatment methods or clinical trials than a general oncologist.

4. They are Diagnosed with Incurable/Terminal Cervical Cancer. When you have been told that your cancer is terminal or incurable, it means that there is no treatment available that will improve or cure the condition. This is a common reason why women with advanced cervical cancer seek a second opinion. It is highly recommended that women who have been told their cancer is incurable to see a gynecologist oncologist who may be aware of other treatment options or clinical trials.

Where to Find a Physician for a Second Opinion

If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and intend to get a second opinion, try to see a gynecologist oncologist. There are several resources that can help find one in your area:
  • physician referral
  • referral from friends and family
  • local medical society or hospital physician locater service
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