Unless you have a life-threatening health condition that requires emergency medical care, it is never a bad idea to opt for a second opinion. Being proactive and gathering more information will give you a greater degree of control over your treatment in the end.
When you’re facing a serious medical diagnosis, it’s common to feel confused. Making decisions can be very difficult especially when you need to choose between several treatment options. How do you know you have been diagnosed correctly or are making the right treatment choices?
When to get a second opinion
1. When treatment options are limited
When you find yourself in a situation where surgery is the only treatment option or your doctor tells you that a specific type of treatment cannot be used in your case. Get a second opinion if the recommended treatment is risky, involves surgery, is invasive or has lifelong consequences.
2. When you have any doubt
You may feel that there is something wrong with the diagnosis or suggested treatment for your condition. You could also still have a number of unanswered questions and doubts after consulting your doctor or if the doctor cannot diagnose the exact cause for your symptoms.
3. Your condition does not improve
If after treatment you are not feeling better and your symptoms are not going away, it is better to seek for another doctor’s opinion. Do not assume that you will always have to live with chronic pain or any uncomfortable feelings.
4. When the diagnosis is terminal
Once diagnosed with a terminal illness and you are told by your doctor that nothing more can be done to treat your condition. Get a second opinion.
Terminal illness or end-stage disease is an incurable disease that cannot be adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient.
5. When the diagnosis is a serious condition or rare disease
Getting additional opinions when faced with a serious diagnosis like cancer or a rare disease increases the likelihood that you will get the best treatment plan possible.
A rare disease, also referred to as an orphan disease, is any disease that affects a small percentage of the population.
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