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If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be overwhelmed with emotions, information, and treatment decisions. You may have met multiple breast cancer specialists at different times and in different locations, adding to your stress and uncertainty. That’s why consulting with another cancer team is important. Getting a second opinion on your cancer diagnosis and treatment options can help you feel confident that you are getting the best possible care.
Our second opinion multidisciplinary consult starts with a review of your breast imaging and your pathology by our specialists. Then, you’ll consult with our team members, all at the same time and location. Your treatment plan will be personalized for you, your needs, preferences, and your goals.
What is a second opinion visit?
A second opinion consultation is a medical appointment with another breast cancer specialist or team, in addition to where you were originally diagnosed. During this appointment, a second team can review your imaging scans, lab work, and medical history. This allows them to provide recommendations that may:
- Confirm your initial diagnosis and offer peace of mind
- Help you better understand the treatment process
- Offer more details about the type and stage of your cancer
- Reveal additional treatment options
- Involve innovative clinical trials that are hard to find at many other cancer centers
At MedStar Health, our breast cancer specialists offer second opinion appointments virtually and in person, so you can choose whichever is more convenient. A virtual appointment may be helpful if you live out-of-state, or if you’d like to involve several family members or friends in the appointment. Other patients prefer a face-to-face meeting with several specialists under one roof.
Getting a second opinion from a multidisciplinary team can help you choose the best, most advanced breast cancer care.
An accurate diagnosis is the first step to understanding treatment options that will be most effective for your specific cancer. That’s why our breast cancer team involves experts from several specialties who will evaluate your cancer, including its size, location, and stage (how far it has spread). This “multidisciplinary approach” offers numerous advantages for patients seeking a second opinion.
If you’ve been diagnosed with #BreastCancer, getting a second opinion from a multidisciplinary team can ensure you're getting the most advanced care. Breast surgeon Dr. Maen Farha shares why: https://bit.ly/3yuuTnS.Click to Tweet
You'll gain access to the latest treatment options.
When you seek a second opinion for breast cancer care at MedStar Health, a team of doctors and other professionals will weigh in on your diagnosis and treatment options. This team may include:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
- Genetic counselors
- Research nurses
- Cancer navigator
- Plastic surgeons
Each of our experts focus exclusively on a specific discipline, making them highly experienced in evaluating and treating breast cancer from different perspectives. Through our holistic, multidisciplinary teamwork, we can more effectively coordinate your care and consider innovative treatment options. This collaboration ensures we’ve considered every aspect of your care, including your physical, emotional, and mental needs.
Because we partner with the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, we can offer access to the most advanced treatment options, including clinical trials backed by the latest research. These trials often allow patients to receive state-of-the-art therapies and surgical techniques before they’re available elsewhere.
Your individualized treatment plan is focused on your unique needs.
When it comes to treating breast cancer, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. By working as a team, we can make sure we clearly understand the type of your breast cancer and the extent of the disease. Then, we develop recommendations that consider your:
- Cancer’s stage
- Preferences, values, and goals
- Overall health
- Chance of recurrence
From genetic counseling and testing to advanced molecular profiling tests that provide insight into certain characteristics about your tumor, we can further personalize treatment recommendations that will be most effective in targeting your tumor. For example, someone with a family history of breast cancer and/or a known genetic mutation related to the disease (BRCA1 and BRCA2) may benefit from newer standard treatments, prophylactic surgery, and/or increased surveillance to reduce their risk of recurring cancer.
You can see all of these specialists within one visit, eliminating additional appointments.
Our multidisciplinary approach is efficient and convenient for patients because you can meet with all of your specialists in one appointment, either virtually or in person. This eliminates the need for you to take time off work and drive to several appointments to meet with experts in each discipline. With all of your specialists in the same physical or virtual room, you can get all of your questions answered at one visit. This allows your entire team to hear firsthand the details or your case and preferences.
Your family and friends can get involved in your care from the beginning.
We invite and encourage patients to include family in the second opinion appointments (and any subsequent visits). Your family members will become some of your biggest cheerleaders and advocates throughout your cancer journey. By involving them from the beginning, they can help you process your diagnosis and treatment options as you make decisions. Research shows that having familial support is integral to improving your resilience and leads to the best survival rates. We welcome family members at appointments in any of our convenient locations in Central Maryland and via telehealth visits.
Prompt care is important, and we're here to help.
After a breast cancer diagnosis, you’ll want to move quickly into the treatment phase. However, in most cases, there is time to seek a second opinion. At MedStar Health, we’re committed to providing second opinion consultations within two business days, so you can quickly get the answers you need to take your next steps. A dedicated cancer navigator will help you manage your appointment, understand your options, and communicate back to your primary doctor.
Having the right team of experts in your corner will lead to the best outcome. Our entire team of breast cancer specialists is here for you every step of the way.