Why Don’t More of Us Seek Second Opinions About Our Health?

Why Don’t More of Us Seek Second Opinions About Our Health?

Protect the Pecs, Steve Del Gardo
Isn’t funny how we get second opinions on nearly everything in life — other than when it comes to our health?

Why do people get second opinions on car troubles, houses, decorations and even future girlfriends, but not on their health? We are always asking our friends for their opinions, but never seeking second options for our health. When was the last time you got a second opinion? What was it about? I am always asking my friends about their opinion on women. That is it. I never get second opinions on anything else in my life. … Wait, I do: Clothes. And who do I ask for an opinion on that? Women.

When it comes to our health, when do we seek a second opinion? I think that a second opinion, especially when it involves any major surgery to cancer diagnoses, can be worthwhile to pursue. In hindsight, I do not think I would have had breast cancer if I had sought out a second opinion. Maybe the lump could have been removed, and maybe it would have stopped the cancer. I really do not know for sure, but I am fine with the outcome. I cannot regress on the “what-ifs.” It isn’t healthy for my well-being.

Back in 2008, there was an interesting article featured on NBC News that discussed the importance of getting a second opinion. The article states that nearly 50% of all Americans never received a second opinion on their health. Although the article from NBC is more than 9 years old, I wonder if the rate of patients seeking a second opinion has changed drastically. Are people still wary of getting second opinions? If so, how do we change this behavior?

If a doctor comes highly recommended, why would you get a second opinion? Once you get a second opinion, do you trust it when it comes to your health?

The answer to all of this is education. We have to educate people that it is OK to get second opinions on our health. Every hospital and clinic needs marketing material on second opinions to let patients know it is OK to seek one, should they feel they need one. And doctors should be OK with that. They need to check their egos at the door.

If you are curious about getting a second opinion, you may be interested in using  Cancer docs. They have board-certified doctors from Harvard University, UCLA, MD Anderson and UC San Diego Medical University, among others. And the best part of it is that, according to the website, your insurance covers the costs of a phone consultation. How cool is that? You can get advice from well-trained oncologists without leaving home! And they just started a new program that will offer treatment for patients who live abroad and need to travel to the U.S. for treatment.

 

Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.

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