Getting a Second Opinion

Doctors aren’t perfect. But we non-doctors often act like they are perfect, or at least infallible when it comes to diagnosing and treating us. It’s madness, if you think about it—trusting one person to make potentially life-determining decisions about us.

It’s bad enough we bring our cars to mechanics and take their word for all their charges. We should never be as lackadaisical about our health and happiness, especially when the diagnosis is lymphoma.

That’s where a second opinion comes in. But we wince at the thought, don’t we? We don’t want to offend our first doctor by second-guessing him or her, but this is serious: this is cancer. To hell with hurting that doctor’s feelings. Getting a second opinion is an absolutely crucial step in your wider treatment plan.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a wonderfully informative section on seeking second opinions. Click here for printable questions to ask during your second opinion consultation (from the LLS), and click here for questions to ask your health insurer regarding getting a second opinion consultation.

If each doctor tells you something differently, you may need a third opinion. Whatever the case, get all the opinions you can get or need--now is not the time to be courteous or timid.

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