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Second opinion?

Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Good Morning all. I have a few questions about getting a second opinion. My dad Stage 3b Squamous cell nsclc was diagnosed on the 17th of this month. This are kind of moving fast which we do apprciate at some point. The problem his onc did not give him much of a fighting chance. The Radiation therapist gave my dad a better fighting chance.
We would like to get another opinion but don't know how about doing this. My parents financially can not afford to drive to Cleveland daily or even stay there. Are we able to ask for another doctor where we are at? If we get a second opinion and decided we like the treatment plan they set up are we able to request the same plan of action here?
Right now my dad is being seen by Dr Rothman and he just feels my dad will lose this fight (that we haven't even started yet) My dad is very healthy and active for the most part. We all just want whats best for our dad.

Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Good Morning !!

I would suggest a 2nd opinion, I am getting one on Dec 10th. I did not get a 2nd opinion prior to my treatment which just ended after 6 mo. I have the same cancer you have mentioned.
I am getting a second opinion regardless of what my current Onc says after a review of the scan. I will have a ct.pet scan tomorrow morning.

My 2nd opinion is covered by my insurance I am told.

Proximity to your home is very important, especially during radiation, for which you will probably have daily for 10 weeks or so. Of course, you must also have a reputable doctor, word of mouth is about all I know. My Onc is the Chief Onc at a leading hospital 5 miles from me, and many persons said he is the best (not sure about that!). This was good enough for me at the time. But now I feel a 2nd opinion from another leading Onc at a different hospital that is 3 miles from my house is in store.

Best wishes--hope I helped.


NayPaul's picture
Posts: 230
Joined: Oct 2010

Absolutely, get the second opinion. If for no other reason, for confirmation. Many times, doctors will give you the numbers and it does not sound encouraging, but this is NOT a death sentence.

Our first onc was very knowledgeable and patient....but not optimistic. But to his credit, he took all the time we needed and answered all questions. ADDITIONALLY he made it very clear that his preference was NOT to treat my wife until we had a second opinion. I think that was great practice on his part. We did select a different facility, and it was the one that the first onc suggested we go to get the second opinion.

Do remember, to ask lots of questions. Yes, treatment options have some latitude, so if you get two different treatment plans push for the one you want. Try to keep selecting a doctor and selecting a treatment plan separate. You want a doctor that you feel comfortable with and trust, even if the intial treatment plan varies from the one you want... just push for it.

You can ask for another dr where you are... at least we could, BUT many facilities meet as a group (tumor review board or cancer review board) to discuss several patients and get input from several different specialists. If your faciltiy did that, you may want to go to another facility.

FYI... my wife was diagnosed as stage iv. Nobody can promise us tomorrow, and I want doctors to be straight with us, so we try to separate the news from the doctor that delivers it. Bad decisions can be made by selecting a doctor only on the "chances" that they give you. NOBODY can promise us tomorrow.

hdbilly1's picture
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

i'm not sure where you live and how far you would have to drive but there is a place that you can stay while getting treated there. i believe it is called the hope lodge. i also have lung cancer but was treated at akron general medical center in akron, ohio. i would not trade my medical team for anything. they treated me like royalty and i feel that i had nothing but the best quality of care possible. let me know if i can help in any way. my thoughts and prayers are with you, bill

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007


Yes, you should get a second opinion, if only because any doctor who doesn't feel your father has a fighting chance is not going to be doing his best for him, in my opinion. I don't really understand why the doc isn't more hopeful - is he unable to have surgery?
Not that that means a lot (I had no surgery, either), as radiation and chemo can do the job, too. Let us know how it works out!
Wishing your dad and you the best outcome,

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