Second Opinions For Cancer Treatment

When You Need A Second Opinion

When you are initially diagnosed with cancer, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of new information you are asked to understand and the staggering number of treatment options and processes you are given. It is important to take time to think about your options and consider each one carefully. You also have time to get a second opinion.

Our physicians at the Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center are fortunate to have the broadest array of advanced technologies in Alaska like the Varian TrueBeam. The vast majority of our patients from the Mat-Su Valley can be treated here. However, a small number of patients may need one of our other advanced technologies like the CyberKnife or High Dose rate brachytherapy implants which we offer at our center in Anchorage. Patients should understand all of their options when it comes to fighting cancer, and our center ensures that you have access to the most advanced treatment solutions available.

A second opinion for a medical diagnosis is very common, especially when dealing with cancer. A second opinion will help provide you with confidence in your choices, and could introduce you to new treatments which could potentially save or improve your life. Our oncologists see patients for second opinions on a daily basis. Their years of clinical expertise and cancer research provide patients with expert knowledge and insight into their particular condition, and reassurance in making these difficult decisions. Most insurances cover second opinion appointments. If you are unsure whether you will be covered, contact our cancer center and our staff will verify coverage with your insurance company before any appointments are set.

At Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center, we treat most types of cancer, including cancer of the brain, lungs, prostate, breast, colorectal, head, and neck. We receive second opinion calls and referrals every day from patients across Palmer and the surrounding areas. Some are looking for a verification of their treatment options, some are looking for more detailed information on the types of treatments available, and some are just looking for a doctor who they feel is in their corner and will give them the best chances.

When it comes to treating cancer, advanced technologies are key, but the experience of your cancer experts can be just as, if not more, important. Our doctors have been leaders in the development of cutting-edge cancer treatment methods throughout their careers, and their research is well published within the medical field. It’s important to find a team of specialists who will not only give you the best possible medical care, but whose personality will make you feel comfortable and at ease. You should only make decisions about your cancer treatment after you’ve found out everything you can about your cancer diagnosis, your chances of recovery, and the treatment options that are accessible to you. This is your medical treatment and your life and it is your right to get a second opinion.

When Should You Consider A Second Opinion?

  • Second opinions don’t always change cancer treatment, but they’re still important. There are many reasons for getting a second opinion.
  • Ensure you have explored all options. There are so many treatment options available, you want to feel confident about your treatment plan. Knowing that multiple experts agree will give you the peace of mind you want to confirm you are making the best possible choice for your situation.
  • Your cancer is rare or unusual. If you’re diagnosed with a rare cancer, there is more of a chance that there might be differing opinions on how to treat it. Get a second opinion, just to be sure.
  • Your doctor says there’s no hope. If you have a doctor who says there is no treatment available to save your life, you may want to look elsewhere. You want to work with someone who is going to want to give you the best chance and hope possible for treating your cancer.
  • Other treatments are available. We regularly see patients seeking a second opinion because they were unaware of treatment options like TrueBeam, or other combined radiation therapy techniques that have improved clinical outcomes. You want the complete picture of all of your options to treat your types of cancer and the pros and cons of each. Mat-Su Valley comprehensive Cancer Center is a dedicated radiation oncology center and the only center in the valley with a TrueBeam.
  • You want to consult a specialist in your type of cancer. If your doctor doesn’t have much experience in treating your type of cancer, or with specific radiation treatments, give Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center a call. It can be really helpful to see a doctor who is experienced in treating your type of cancer and with the type of cancer treatment that is best for your situation. Our doctors are internationally renowned experts in radiation oncology.
  • Communication problems. If you’re having trouble understanding and communicating with your doctor, or you want your options explained by someone else, call Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center. We know that it is sometimes difficult to understand the complex information presented to you. Sometimes hearing it from someone else can help your understanding. We want you to be comfortable with your treatment options and will develop a personal relationship with you.

Paying For A Second Opinion

Contact our center and we will follow up with your insurance to get you pre-approved before your second-opinion appointment. Many insurance companies actually require you to get one before you start cancer treatment. If you have any questions about insurance or payment, feel free to contact us for more information.

The Second Opinion Process at Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center

Giving the specialists at Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center the exact details of your diagnosis and planned treatment is very important. If you do not have your medical records on hand when you contact our office, we will reach out to your physicians and the centers where you have been diagnosed to collect the necessary medical records.

During your visit, feel free to bring someone with you to help you remember and understand what is said. You may want to take notes, and/or record what your doctor says.