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Many public healthcare systems offer the option of a second opinion as a right to patients who receive a diagnosis of cancer (as well as for other serious or rare diseases). It is very reasonable to decide to try to resolve the uncertainty and seek out another external opinion. If the diagnoses match, the second opinion aids with the decision-making process. However, contradictory diagnoses will increase the uncertainty. The following considerations may be helpful before deciding to request a second opinion:
Having appropriate and understandable information about the disease and its impact on the patient.
Discuss any doubts or uncertainties posed by the diagnosis with the doctor.
It usually helps if the patient’s medical team are aware that they are seeking a second opinion, this makes it easier to reach a consensus about how to proceed in the event of discrepancies between the diagnoses.