A second opinion is a good idea in a number of cases, but is not always necessary. IF you have confidence in your urologist, IF the diagnosis and treatment plan proceed the way you expect, and IF the diagnosis is not complicated, you probably do not need a second opinion.
On the other hand, IF you do not feel comfortable with the situation in any way, IF the diagnosis is murkey or unclear, IF the diagnosis is of a rare or complicated type of bladder cancer, you do need a second opinion.
And a second opinion is not just sending slides to another site. IF there is a problem, it usually isn't in the interpretation of the pathology. ( IF there is a question about the diagnosis from a path standpoint of course, the slides can be mailed anywhere. Johns-Hopkins is one of the most commonly used. ) A real second opinion is a visit to an expert for a complete re-evaluation of your case....probably even a new TURB.
Examples of situations in which a second opinion is indicated might be if there is a mix of cell types in the path report or if there are several options in the recommended treatment plan and you are unsure which would be best.
My urologist told me that should it ever come to the point where bladder removal was indicated HE WOULD INSIST THAT I GET A SECOND OPINION.
And, as I mentioned in the beginning, if you do not feel confident in your current urologist, a second opinion is a good idea as well as a move to a new doctor.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
My first TURBT is scheduled for the 19th. I have a few questions regarding second opinions. First, should we always get a second opinion on the pathology report? I understand staging and grading is of the utmost importance when dealing with this dreadful disease but I am unclear if it is always recommended or if it is just for more aggressive cancers/complex Cases etc.
Secondly, how do we get a second opinion? Will my doctor return my slides to me or does he send them out to where I want them to go?
Third, any opinions on where I can send them? I have looked online and soooo many places pop up. I would like a reputable place of course. I live near Roswell Park, does anyone know if they are a reputable cancer center for urology? I know they are big with breast cancer, but I don't know about urology. It would be nice if they were, I could transfer my care there if I wanted/ needed to.
Thanks for all the advice!