Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Many insurance companies cover a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor. Usually it is not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. In most cases, the delay in starting treatment will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Some men with prostate cancer need treatment right away.
There are a number of ways to find a doctor for a second opinion:
- Your doctor may refer you to one or more specialists. At cancer centers, several specialists often work together as a team.
- NCI's Cancer Information Service, at 1-800-4-CANCER, can tell you about nearby treatment centers. Information Specialists also can provide online assistance through LiveHelp at http://www.cancer.gov/cis.
- A local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school can usually provide the names of specialists.
- The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has a list of doctors who have had training and passed exams in their specialty. You can find this list in the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists. This Directory is in most public libraries. Also, ABMS offers this information at http://www.abms.org. (Click on "Who's Certified.")
NCI provides a helpful fact sheet called "How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer."