top of page
Search

There Is No Routine Cancer: Why Second Opinions Are So Important for Cancer Patients


WebMD

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute


There Is No Routine Cancer: Why Second Opinions Are So Important for Cancer Patients


Diagnosing cancer can be complex. Determining the best treatment option for your cancer may be overwhelming. Cancer patients rely heavily on their doctors to build treatment plans that provide the best chances for positive outcomes. While this trust is an important component of cancer care, patients shouldn't shy away from seeking second opinions before beginning treatment.

This is the advice of David Cohn, MD, MBA, chief medical officer of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). Cohn treats patients with gynecologic cancers and encourages them to seek second opinions. He also provides second opinions for patients diagnosed at hospitals throughout Ohio and beyond.

"Because there is no routine cancer, and there are so many more treatment options available, second opinions have become more important and more common," Cohn says. "Every patient has the right to ask for a second opinion, and every oncologist should feel comfortable making a referral."

The Basics: What is a Second Opinion

Cohn considers a patient's primary oncologist to be the "cancer quarterback." "This physician diagnoses and explains what type of cancer the patient has and comes up with a treatment plan," he says. "A second opinion is reaching out, after the original diagnosis, to another oncologist, to make sure that what was initially found is accurate and that the treatment plans are consistent with the current standard of care."

How and Where

To provide a thorough second opinion, the new oncologist must review a patient's medical history. "This involves a review of the biopsy of the cancerous tumor, the actual slide on glass or a digital copy," Cohn says. "And it's the same for X-rays and scanning tests. We need to see everything."