I don't know about you, but I have always kind of associated getting a second opinion with first getting a diagnosis or treatment program one didn't like or agree with. I learned the hard way that you really ought to get a second opinion, no matter what.
Last spring, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer...in an odd way, it was a relief...they had been concerned it was something much worse (worse than lung cancer? yep) so when the doctor was visibly relieved when delivering the initial diagnosis, we were relieved as well. Then the surgeon who was to operate on Mom was like, "yep, no biggee, we're going to go in and get it, and that'll be the end of it. There's no need to take the whole lobe, we don't take the whole lobe in patients over 75 because, with all due respect, they won't live long enough for it to grow back and matter."
Again, we were relieved to hear a doc being so relaxed and "we can do this" about her surgery...so off she went in July for surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue. All went well - turned out the doc had the bedside manner of an ogre - but all went well, and mom recovered nicely and went about living her life.
They check you every three months after lung cancer surgery...November x-ray: clear. February: not clear. The cancer came back. Doc now says it had a 25% chance of coming back in 5 years (if he said that last year, I don't remember it AT ALL!) and based on her age, and recent cardiac history, he recommended radiation...radiation docs gave it a 60-70% cure rate.
THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!
So, this time, we got a second and then a third opinion... and both said she's a candidate for surgery to remove the whole lobe, so that is what they recommended. When you can operate, you operate!
WHY WHY WHY didn't I insist on a second opinion last summer???? Then Mom wouldn't have to go through surgery again at age 80!
The real reason I didn't is because the doc sounded so sure, so "easy" about it all and that was a relief after a scary diagnosis. But I regret that now...
We have come to the realization that her doc from last summer thinks that when you are 79 or 80, you're gonna die tomorrow from something, so what's the point. Nice, huh?
By the way, when I asked him both (last year and the other week), what would he recommend if his own mother were in a similar situation...both times he said "you don't even know if I like my mother." Nice guy, huh?
PLEASE, to any of you reading this, please get a second opinion REGARDLESS of the diagnosis or treatment plan! It never hurts and it can certainly help!