- Why get a second opinion?
- Find a Specialist
- Factors Contributing to a Misdiagnosis
- Specialized Treatment Centers
Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma can be extremely difficult. The symptoms of this rare cancer may be confused with a variety of other diseases and illnesses – some serious and others very common and benign. Thus, many mesothelioma patients suffer through months of painful symptoms before receiving a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately for some, a proper mesothelioma diagnosis is not made until the patients are in the final stages of the cancer, severely limiting their treatment options.
As soon as you or your doctor suspects a mesothelioma diagnosis, you should seek a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist. The earlier proper treatments are started the more likely your life will be extended.
Why is a second opinion important in mesothelioma?
Because mesothelioma is an uncommon type of cancer with a very specific cause — asbestos exposure — not many doctors have experience diagnosing or treating it.
“Most physicians only see one to two [mesothelioma] cases in their career. If a patient is diagnosed by a physician who doesn’t see a lot of mesothelioma, a second opinion is a great idea,” Dr. David Rice, a professor in surgery who conducts mesothelioma treatment research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explained in an article for EverydayHealth.com. “In my opinion, a patient should always want to be seen at a center that has a lot of experience with this disease.”
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer, and getting a diagnosis and proper treatment as early as possible is important. That’s why getting a second opinion is so important. Whether your primary care doctor has made the mesothelioma diagnosis, or you are experiencing symptoms and are concerned about a mesothelioma misdiagnosis, seeking out a second opinion from an experienced mesothelioma specialist will help you get the best treatment options available.