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Whether you have been newly diagnosed with cancer or have already begun a treatment plan, Parkview Cancer Institute is always available to provide a second opinion. We understand that receiving a cancer diagnosis can leave you with many questions and that you are likely anxious to begin treatment. Early detection and treatment are important variables in the cancer journey. That’s why Parkview Cancer Institute believes in providing second opinions quickly and efficiently, while providing a thorough review and recommendation, all with the goal of providing you much needed peace of mind.

A second opinion is meant to:

  • Confirm or correct a prior diagnosis
  • Determine the stage and extent of the cancer
  • Determine applicable alternative therapies outside of your current treatment plan
  • Provide input from a subspecialized multidisciplinary team of experts
  • Allow access to applicable clinical trials

When should I seek a second opinion?

You can get a second opinion from Parkview Cancer Institute at any stage along your cancer journey. Because of the nature of many cancers, the sooner you can establish a treatment plan, the better. Time is important because some cancers can grow and spread quickly. From an economic standpoint, cost of care can potentially be reduced by catching the cancer and beginning treatments early.

Many people get a second opinion for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To confirm your type of cancer
  • To confirm your cancer diagnosis
  • To confirm your cancer stage prior to treatment
  • You want to see if other treatments are available
  • Your providers aren’t sure how to proceed with your care plan
  • You want the opinion of a specialist in your specific type of cancer
  • You are unsure which treatment option to choose
  • You have a rare cancer
  • You do not feel all of your needs are being met with your current provider
  • You would like a multi-specialty approach to your cancer

What is involved in a second opinion?

Parkview Cancer Institute treats second opinions with the same careful consideration and thorough review as we would any other patient. Each case is presented in Tumor Board. Here, our oncology experts review your history and diagnosis to understand what has previously been done. We confirm or redefine the stage of the tumor and reclassify biomarkers that can be used as a guide to select the most effective therapies, as well as review the plan developed by the initial, diagnosing provider. We also review outside pathology and radiology and repeat these diagnostics or request additional tests as needed. Our sophisticated multidisciplinary approach allows varying perspectives, provided by surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, pathologists, researchers and other clinical experts. These are provided in a single room as a conversation around your case. This invaluable communication is integral to how we approach treatment for each individual patient.


What can I expect at my appointment?

At Parkview Cancer Institute, your second opinion begins with an appointment with a provider from the care team that only deals with your specific type of cancer. You will have a physical assessment and a discussion with our care provider about your health history and diagnosis.


What is the process for getting a second opinion?

You can ask for a referral from a physician in any specialty – your primary care provider, a specialist such as a gastroenterologist or gynecologist, or the provider that provided the existing treatment plan. At Parkview Cancer Institute, you can also self-refer for a second opinion.  Just give us a call to get started!


If I get a second opinion, am I obligated to receive treatment from that cancer center?

No. We understand that individuals and their families seek consultation for any number of reasons. A second opinion may simply provide reassurance that your provider’s treatment plan is appropriate for your needs. If our treatment options offer alternatives that you prefer, we are always happy to help.


Will my physician be offended if I seek a second opinion?

All physicians should encourage second opinions as part of the treatment process.  After all, they want what is best for their patients and want them to be comfortable with the path forward. Your provider will share pathology and other diagnostics to the cancer center providing the second opinion for review. Depending on the tests previously completed and the amount of time that has passed, Parkview Cancer Institute may order repeat or additional imaging, or tests.


Does insurance cover second opinions?

Many health insurance plans will cover second opinions.  It is recommended that you find out from your insurer if your specific plan covers the cost. If you need to pay out of pocket, Parkview Cancer Institute has financial counselors that will work with you to determine the costs for which you may be responsible.


Why should I get a second opinion from Parkview Cancer Institute?

Parkview Cancer Institute has unique surgical options and innovative clinical trials not available elsewhere in the region. Our oncology experts are subspecialized, meaning if you have breast cancer, your treatment team will consist of experts who only treat breast cancers – they aren’t seeing patients with any other type of cancer. This focus allows more exposure and experience, and a concentrated level of expertise.

Parkview Cancer Institute is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, having met rigorous standards to participate in MD Anderson’s quality improvement and best practices program. As part of the affiliation, the certified physicians of Parkview Cancer Institute can tap into the expertise of MD Anderson and may collaborate with faculty to develop treatment plans for patients. This collaboration will elevate the quality of cancer care in the region and help us better serve our patients.


Contact Parkview Cancer Institute for a second opinion today. 833-724-8326


Cancers We Treat

Parkview Cancer Institute has specialists who focus on specific types of cancer. For more information, call 833-724-8326.

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