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Second Opinion on Cancer Diagnosis


  • Introduction Benefits FAQ Second Opinion Packages Survivor Stories Register Here
Introduction

Advancements in cancer care are happening at an unprecedented rate, and it is not any different in the case of the cancer diagnosis. Cancer is a complex disease, and depending solely on the primary diagnosis may not be a great idea. Going for a second opinion on the available diagnosis before proceeding with the treatment could make a huge difference.

A second opinion is a medical process wherein the primary physician’s cancer diagnosis and treatment plans are reviewed by another specialist or a group of specialists.

During cancer diagnoses, there are times when the tumour has advanced a lot more than what is suggested in the reports, or sometimes it might be a benign tumour contradicting the severity suggested or at times, the diagnosis itself could be completely off-base. It is in these scenarios that getting a second opinion could be a lifesaver. A second opinion could play a critical role in understanding cancer as a disease, assessing its progression and coming up with an effective treatment plan. It is important to note that it is always best to take a second opinion on cancer diagnosis from oncology-focussed hospitals due to their long track record and in-depth knowledge.

When to Opt for a Second Opinion?
Some patients find it hard to inform their primary doctors that they want to go for a second opinion. However, the patients should know that it is normal for them to get a second opinion and in fact, many doctors encourage their patients to go for a second opinion after a cancer diagnosis as this makes them trust the diagnosis and treatment.
A second opinion comes in handy in the following scenarios:
  1. If the patient fears a misdiagnosis
  2. The diagnosis is unclear

  3. The treatment offered is causing side effects or the patient fears unknown risks
  4. The cancer is not responding to the current treatment
  5. The treatment planned is experimental with no proper protocol or known results
  6. The patient is uncomfortable with his/her doctor, the diagnosis and treatment plan

Reasons to Consider a Second Opinion on Cancer Diagnosis:

Well-informed decisions play a critical role in the successful management of cancer and a second opinion could lead to those carefully made decisions. A second opinion on cancer diagnosis could help cancer patients in several ways.
Following are the few advantages of getting a second opinion:

Sense of Empowerment and Control over the Health Condition:
Learning more about their condition, having an active role in deciding the best treatment plan, and most importantly, choosing the specialist of their choice to treat them evokes the sense of control over their health condition among the cancer patients. This could positively impact their decision and overall disease management.
Higher Chances of a Correct Diagnosis:
A second opinion may confirm the current diagnosis or may give additional information that could enhance the treatment efficacy. Cancer subtypes and rare cancers are common areas of diagnostic errors. Patients diagnosed with rare cancers can opt for a second opinion for the confirmation on the type and exact stage of cancer.
To Explore Various Advanced Diagnostic and Treatment Options:
The horizon for cancer treatment options is getting wider every day. A second opinion on cancer diagnosis could help patients opt for emotionally and physically less demanding treatment procedures that not only treat their cancer successfully also help them get back to their normal lives at a faster rate.
Increased Confidence in the Treatment:
Being diagnosed with cancer can be confusing and frustrating initially. However, a second opinion brings in a sense of clarity among the patients and their caregivers, which is crucial for informed decision-making.
Value for Money:
In healthcare, the value for money is defined by the efficacy of the treatment, which majorly depends on the precision of the diagnosis. A second opinion should never be seen as an additional expense; it could prevent surgery or provide an alternative treatment plan that not only addresses the condition but also saves money. A second opinion could also help the patients avoid non-evidence-based treatment procedures that rarely come with tangible results.

Benefits of Getting a Second Opinion at HCG

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Multidisciplinary Approach:

Every case at HCG goes through the multidisciplinary team (MDT) that consists of specialists from various oncological disciplines, which means it is not just one specialist, but a group of specialists who will be studying each cancer case and helping the patient with the best possible solution.
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Centralised Tumour Board:

HCG has a unique tumour board, wherein each cancer case is diligently discussed, the available diagnostic information is comprehensively studied and accordingly an effective treatment planning is made. A detailed assessment of each case helps the specialists at HCG come up with an accurate second opinion.
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High-End Diagnostic Facility

Our comprehensive centres are equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic technologies such as PET CT (analogue/digital), Automated Breast Volume Scanner (ABVS), digital mammography, high-resolution MRI scanner, etc., which produce highly precise diagnostic results that in turn, positively impact the outcome of the second opinion.
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Evidence-Based Treatment Approach:

The multidisciplinary team at HCG opts for evidence-based treatment approach, which allows the team to use available evidence to plan the diagnostic and treatment interventions that are most likely to result in a successful clinical outcome. Also, the team ensures that a customised treatment plan is devised based on the site and stage of the tumour, patient’s co-morbidities and lastly, his/her needs.
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Ensured Continuity of Care and Compliance of Treatment:

HCG connects the patients back to their respective primary care providers to ensure continuity of care and compliance of treatment.

How Does It Work?

1

The patient looking for a second opinion shall be requested to fill a registration from on our website. Post this the patient will have to share their medical records and make a payment.

2

Typically, within 2-3 business days after a patient has shared their medical records, a care officer will get in touch with the patient or his/her family members.

3

After carefully reviewing the medical records, the care officer shall decide on the right specialist to take up the said second opinion case.

4

The specialist will be virtually consulting the patient and will also thoroughly study the available patient information in tandem with a multidisciplinary team and write for additional tests, if necessary.

5

Once the results of additional tests arrive, the specialist and his/her team shall again have a discussion and then finally another tele/video consultation or physical consultation will happen with the patient where the obtained results will be discussed along with an effective treatment plan. The reports will be shared via email too.

6

Once the observations are discussed, the reports and the insights from the MDT will be shared with the patient’s family physician and follow-ups will be made to ensure continual care.

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In line with the second opinion, HCG also offers services like dietary counselling, genetic counselling, yoga therapy, psycho oncology counselling and counselling on preventive oncology practices, to support the cancer treatment that may follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

After carefully reviewing your second opinion request and your medical records, the care officer at HCG will determine the most appropriate cancer specialist at our centre to handle your online second opinion case and take the process forward. You may also request for a particular physician, and your care officer will try to accommodate that request and schedule the appointment accordingly.
You could opt for a second opinion before the surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or at any point of the treatment cycle. However, it is ideal to seek a second opinion before the treatment begins. Your doctor, who primarily diagnosed your condition, could also recommend a specialist for a second opinion on your diagnosis. We suggest you give yourself as much as time to gather all the necessary information about your condition and finally make an informed decision.
Be as direct and unemotional as possible. Tell the second doctor that you want an appraisal of the diagnosis you've been given and the treatment that's been proposed. Also, please make sure to bring the existing reports, new tests written and the treatment plan advised during your original consultation.
HCG will send over a thorough second opinion report addressing the specific questions asked during the second opinion request. The results of the report may agree with your original diagnosis or may offer additional treatment options. You should also plan to initially schedule time with your treating doctor to review the recommendations and work with him/her to refine your diagnosis, treatment plan, or plan of care. You are welcome to seek care at HCG for your condition after reviewing your second opinion report.
The HCG team will collect all of your medical records directly from you during your registration. The medical records from your primary diagnosis are important for the specialists to study your current condition before suggesting additional tests, if necessary.
We are only able to process requests in English at this time. All documents on your primary diagnosis must be translated into English before them being submitted to HCG.

Second Opinion Packages

SECOND OPINION PLANS BASIC ADVANCED
FEATURES
Oncologist involved Primary oncologist only Multi-disciplinary team
Dedicated medical coordinator at each HCG hospital Yes Yes
Cross evaluation of patient’s condition by multi-disciplinary Tumour Board No Yes
Diet Consultation Yes Yes
Follow up consultation within 20 days 1 2
Coordination with your family physician No Yes
Virtual consultation Yes with primary oncologist only Yes with MDT panel of consultant
Customized, detailed and comprehensive treatment plan By Primary Oncologist By Multidisciplinary Committee
Mode of Advice Email Email
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Oncologist Meeting (if Needed)

Add on services as per actuals
Home Care Support     Read More Yes Yes
Genetic Consultation     Read More Yes Yes
Psycho Oncology Consultation Yes Yes
Stress Scale Test (Psycho-oncology Self Assessment Test) Free Free
Yoga Therapy     Read More Yes Yes

Survivor Stories

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