A Second Opinion Offers Prostate Cancer Patients Peace of Mind

Why wouldn’t you seek a second opinion regarding a cancer diagnosis? It’s the smart thing to do, and it’s the accepted thing to do.

Let’s say you’re a 46-year-old male. You’ve just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. You never thought in a million years that this would happen to you. In the midst of your diagnosis you’ve learned about your prostate and its direct link to your urinary and reproductive functions. And you’ve also learned about the types of treatments available – or not available, depending on the specific stage of prostate cancer that you have.

Couple PCAAt this point, you are likely thoroughly exhausted and honestly confused. You know that prostate cancer is a serious and relatively common disease: according to the American Cancer Society, about 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. You know prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in America, but that most men do not die from it.

You’ve learned about possible treatments, such as radiotherapy, hormone therapy, surgery to remove the prostate (prostatectomy) and “watchful waiting,” as prostate cancer is often slow-growing and can be low-risk. You’ve also learned of the risks associated with treatments that could affect you for the rest of your life including impotence or incontinence.

Time to consider seek a second opinion

Your diagnosis is prostate cancer and you can’t change that, but you can gain considerable peace of mind and corral your emotions with a second opinion from another physician. In the medical profession, seeking a second opinion is an important and necessary part of practicing. Not only does it offer a system of checks and balances between physicians, but it offers patients a greater sense of confidence in the treatment they ultimately choose, knowing that they have tapped the insight of another medical mind.

At Urology Associates, we offer patients a free, no-hassle second opinion through an online platform. Patients can fill out their diagnosis information and latest lab report and our physicians experienced in prostate cancer will review and provide consultation directly to the patient.

Some common reasons why patients seek a second opinion include:

  • You are feeling unsure about the direction you’ve been given.
  • You are not familiar enough with the diagnosing doctor to feel 100 percent comfortable with the treatment recommendation.
  • You have preexisting conditions or additional medical problems and complications.
  • Your insurance company requires that you receive a second opinion before seeking treatment.
  • The treatment recommended and being considered is highly risky.

A good doctor will understand all the pressure you are facing and will want you to be exposed to as much information as possible so you can make the soundest decision for your health. Your physician should have no hard feelings because you want a second opinion. After all, doctors rely on their medical experiences, their education and even their intuition in making their diagnoses and recommendations. They know that another physician may have a different take on the same patient, and they know that two heads are often better than one.

What you should get from a second opinion

A second opinion is your chance to clarify information you’ve been given and possibly receive new information. Make sure to select an experienced physician who specializes in prostate cancer. It’s a good idea to seek a physician who practices in a different organization than your original physician and to select one who practices at a specialized institution, if possible.

Be prepared for your face-to-face meeting. It is important to take notes and ask specific questions, such as:

  • In your opinion, what are my options?
  • Could you provide some best and worst-case scenarios for treatment?
  • Is there any research data that supports one treatment option over another that you can share with me?
  • What are my next steps?

They say that knowledge is power. It’s your right as a patient to ask these questions in order to fully understand exactly what your treatment options are and the potential outcome of each scenario. Instead of worrying and doing nothing, I recommend that you get a second opinion today. You’ll feel more confident about the direction of your health and your future.

Edward Eigner M.D, FACS

View posts by Edward Eigner M.D, FACS
Dr. Eigner was born and raised in Dover, Ohio. He attended Stanford University where he graduated “with distinction” and received a degree in human biology. He attended Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was elected vice president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Eigner spent his internship and a second year of general surgery training at Stanford University Medical Center, and then completed a four-year urology residency. He served as the Gallo Research Fellow in prostate cancer and ultrasonography in 1989 through 1990. He served a chief resident at Stanford in 1991 and 1992. After residency training, Dr. Eigner moved to Denver where he joined Urology Associates in 1992. His practice interests and expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, using da Vinci robotic surgery and open surgery when required. He treats all stages of disease. Other interests are incontinence, enlargement of the prostate (BPH) and stone disease. Dr. Eigner served as chairman of The Department of Surgery at Porter Hospital and Chairman of Credentials at Sky Ridge Medical Center. He is presently the Chief of Robotic Surgery at Sky Ridge Medical Center. He is board certified in urology and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In his spare time, Dr. Eigner enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf or skiing. He also takes a special interest in history.
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