Search in All Title Contents

Faced with a diagnosis and an uncertain treatment, the second oncological opinion is opened as an option of tranquility for patients

  • Contrast and consensus in the diagnosis also helps the oncology specialist in the choice of optimal therapeutic and / or surgical treatment for the patient

  • Although it is possible to request a second oncological opinion at any stage of the disease, it is best to ask for it right at diagnosis


A diagnosis of cancer is always a very complex moment in the life of any person and is usually characterized, in most cases, by feelings of uncertainty, impotence and incomprehension - feelings that also accompany the patient when going to the oncologist's office to receive treatment for the first time. Faced with a disease and a treatment that the person does not know in depth, the second oncological opinion is opened as an option that provides a greater degree of certainty to these patients.

With a fully collaborative philosophy, the second oncological opinion consists of the study of the diagnosis and treatment options that the patient is going to receive or is receiving, to subsequently "provide another vision or refute the established opinion", explains Dr. Raul Marquez, medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid. Once the case has been studied, new options can be proposed, not only of medical treatment, but also on the indication of surgery or even on the diagnosis and etiology of the tumor, as it is possible to request a second opinion for a specific aspect of the process and / or at any stage of the disease.

In fact, Dr. Marquez emphasizes, "it is possible to request a second oncological opinion at any chronological moment of the patient's illness" although, he acknowledges, "it is more efficient the sooner it is done, that is, just at the moment the tumor is diagnosed. " As the specialist points out, it is more complicated to reverse the effects of something that has already been done or to prescribe a drug when others have already been used, than to create a strategy from scratch with a treatment.

But therapeutic collaboration does not end with this consultation, since these second oncological opinions are later agreed upon, this is one of the points on which MD Anderson Madrid stands out, with a multidisciplinary committee made up of specialists in oncology of all types: medical oncologists, radiotherapists, radiologists, nuclear physicians, anatomical pathologists ... "The objective is to obtain a second security tab", emphasizes Dr. Marquez.

In this way, the patient receives a second opinion supported by more than a dozen health professionals specialized in the field of oncology, which offers confidence to the patient and also to the oncologist giving the "first oncological opinion". As Dr. Marquez points out, it is not about competing, but about collaborating, and the opinion of a colleague can often serve to contrast options and evaluate new treatment alternatives, also giving the doctor confidence in the diagnosis of his patient.

In line with this philosophy of collaboration and commitment to patients, MD Anderson always prioritizes a person’s first appointment, who is also assigned a longer consultation time to make a good differential diagnosis, whether it is a new patient or someone seeking a second opinion that provides him with sufficient peace of mind to cope with his illness.