Six Reasons to Seek a Second Opinion for Your Cancer Care

If you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer, why should you look for a second opinion? At Desert Care Network’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients often turn to us for a second look at their diagnosis and treatment options. Here’s why everyone should consider a second opinion:

  1. More than 1 in 5 Patients May Have the Wrong Cancer Diagnosis
    When you get a cancer diagnosis, you assume that it is correct. But diagnostic error can be common. According to a study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, when researchers looked at the medical records of patients from referring physicians, they found 21 percent of the time the diagnosis was incorrect. This can delay life-saving treatment or cause unnecessary procedures.

  2. Up to 88 Percent of Patients Receive a New or Refined Treatment Plan
    You read that correctly. In the same study, researchers determined 88 percent of patients had their treatment plans updated and refined after seeking a second opinion. If a diagnostic error is wrong about a cancer’s extent, location, or stage, your original diagnosis could lead to an inappropriate treatment plan. That’s why expert second opinions are so important.

  3. The Right Treatment Plan, Personalized For You
    Unlike some other medical issues, there are multiple treatment options for cancer. Cancer can be treated through surgery, radiation therapy, drug therapy—or a carefully planned combination of these three. A second opinion from a team of cancer doctors will help you determine if your treatment plan is the best option for you, your body, and your life.

  4. Technologies that Require Less Time and Less Stress
    Another reason to look for a second opinion is to consider the technologies used to treat your cancer. For example, you might want to know if there are newer technologies that are minimally invasive, require less time under radiation or cause less physical or emotional stress on your body.

  5. A Broader Range of Cancer Care Services
    A second opinion can introduce you to a broader range of cancer care services. For example, your current treatment plan might only include the cancer procedure itself—rather than a full complement of support services like a dedicated medical psychologist, registered dietitians, and therapy that treats the whole person.

  6. Second Opinions are Covered by Most Insurance Providers
    Most insurance providers cover second opinions. In fact, some insurance providers require a second opinion before approving reimbursement for certain cancer procedures.

Why You Should Seek a Second Opinion for Cancer Care at Desert Care Network

No matter what stage, there are treatment options available. At the Comprehensive Cancer Center, we provide expert second opinions with the utmost care and attention. Our multi-disciplinary team of doctors review all lab work about your cancer and your health—while also considering your specific circumstances. Our doctors discuss your case to determine the best course of care.

The care plan includes treatment as well as supportive care from a multi-specialty team of physicians, oncology nurses, a medical psychologist, social workers and registered dietitians. Recognized by the Commission on Cancer (COC), we have 30 years of experience in diagnosing, treating, and healing cancer right here in the desert.

Why the Comprehensive Cancer Center?

  • Everything you need for cancer care happens under one roof, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. This means that you don’t have to drive across the valley as you manage a cancer diagnosis.
  • We have doctors from multiple specialties and disciplines of cancer care in our facility.
  • Our doctors work as a team to review each case. They create a unique treatment plan that is optimized for each patient’s circumstances.
  • We have some of the latest technologies in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We also work with major research institutions to help our patients access new treatment options.

We’re dedicated to treating the whole patient – not just cancer.

Our patients receive ongoing support before, during and after treatment. This includes:

  • Help with appointments, referrals and next steps
  • Counseling and education for patients and caregivers
  • On-site complementary therapies, including adaptive yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki and mindful meditation

Cancer Types We Treat

  • Blood Cancers including lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia
  • Brain
  • Breast
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Gynecological
  • Lung
  • Prostate
  • Melanoma/Skin

Your team of medical professionals will partner with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, which may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, surgery and participation in clinical research studies.

Contact Us for More Information

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* Reference:

Van Such, M, Lohr, R, Beckman, T, Naessens, JM. Extent of diagnostic agreement among medical referrals. J Eval Clin Pract. 2017; 23: 870– 874.