Etiquette of a 2nd opinion? - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Etiquette of a 2nd opinion?

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I am being treated at an amazing cancer center with an MO who knows more than normal people can comprehend. And its 10 minutes from my house, i see the doc weekly in person where he takes the time to answer questions even about my head itching, and i have additional checkups 2 or 3 times each week (besides seeing the MO) to check blood, etc. I love this place. I love the people, and i trust my doc. But here Im reading about the importance of getting a 2nd opinion - especially at a MO specializing in PC. So what is the ettiquete? I dont want to offend my MO. Should i do it now while im on chemo and its still working to preplan nect steps? Or do i wait until i move on from chemo to ask for help? Do i need to tell my MO - and if so, what is the right way to tell him? Or is it better to just book a consult at Mayo, fly there, here them out and never tell him unless i want to ask for a treatment change?

10 Replies

People get second opinions all the time. Good doctors have no problem with it. Neither do their staffs. You might as well be calmly open and matter of fact with it from the start.

You might want to double check you insurance coverage. Some insurances let you self-refer; some want you to jump through a hoop of getting a referral from your treating physician.

Are you located in Texas? If you are not already being seen at MD Anderson, they have people with experience, and also Clinical Trials for future reference, whether you may need them now or not.

If your heart is set on Mayo Clinic, they often take self-referrals. Here's a patient entry link for however you choose to start the process:

One of the better known doctors there who often speaks at major prostate cancer Conferences is Dr. Eugene Kwon.

Mayo Clinic in Minnesota also has some excellent patient travel services.

Keep in mind the Very Cold weather in Minnesota this winter.


I completely agree with Charles’ comments. I was a little nervous about bringing this subject up to my oncologist. He was great about it. He recommended various hospitals who specialize in PCa and even recommended doctors to see.

That’s what a true professional doctor should do. They need to think about you and what’s best for you!

I live in Atlanta and had my second opinion at MD Anderson. The visit was great. Now MD Anderson keeps me up on the latest treatments and access to clinical trials. I also have my scans there, visiting every 6 months for a consult. I have my routine visits locally (monthly Labs, quarterly Lupron shot). My doctors view themselves as a team. They agreed together on my treatment strategy. This gives me and my wife confidence we are doing all we can to aggressively treat this disease.

Best of luck in your journey! Let us know how we can help.


I agree with Charles about just being open about it and you can let the doctor know that it's something you always do. You are not saying your doctor is wrong or second guessing him.

I once went to see a Urologist that tried to belittle me when I suggested getting a second opinion. To me, that was red flag and I never went back to him. I found out later that my family doctor in the town where I live will always refer people to the other urologist in that office and not the one I saw. He wouldn't really tell me why, but he didn't need to.

I think if you explain you would like to see a specialist in APC and you would like your local General Oncologist to communicate with the specialist (who may be a distance away ,to optimise your care ,he should be on board with that, especially if the local is a General Oncologist. This is what most of us do.


If he's as good a doctor as you described then he should encourage you to get a second opinion, that's my opinion.

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Monday 11/06/2017 12: 53 AM EST

You can even tell your doctor you're so happy with him & his center that you've had no interest in seeking a 2nd opinion, but you're under pressure from others who insist its the wise thing to do, & that even he would support you in that, that you've decided to do it. Diplomacy & flattery will get you everywhere!

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The problem you may run into, is if the second opinion is as wrong as the original. It happens, it happened to me.

Not sure why you would want a second opinion. I sought a second opinion at the very beginning when I was trying to decide on treatment options. It looks like you are already on a path and happy with your medical team. You are in the right place to educate yourself and it is always good to ask questions. Good luck.

Every doctor I have dealt with in my journey had no problem with second opinions. I would notify my present doctor of my intentions and ask for all pertinent medical records, if I don't have them. In my opinion, a second opinion will give you peace of mind.

Tell him you want to get several second opinions, and if he would have any recommendations about where you might seek them. And that you are thinking about Mayo for one of them.

There is not a practical way for you to hide this from him. The whole purpose of getting second opinions is to share them with him.

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