Cancer Treatment: Second Opinion for Better Management of Risk Factors

Cancer Treatment: Second Opinion for Better Management of Risk Factors

Brief of a Second Opinion for Cancer

Cancer begins when gene alterations cause one or a few cells to proliferate and multiply excessively. This could even result in the formation of a tumor. A primary tumor is the site of cancer’s onset. A secondary tumor, also known as metastasis, occurs when cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are another name for cancerous tumors. Benign tumors do not penetrate or spread into neighboring tissues.

When you or your loved ones have received a cancer diagnosis, you want to know everything there is to know. You want the required information as soon as possible, and you want this knowledge to enable you to take charge of the cancer treatment options. In line with this thought, seeking a second opinion could be of immense benefit to you.

You want qualified and experienced experts to assist you in obtaining the answers you require, on priority. You would expect specialists with the right skill set so as to maintain accuracy in diagnosis and treatment. This must happen without having to be concerned about the practicalities or the finer points. So you may rest easy and be confident about the journey ahead.

Types of Cancer to Seek a Second Opinion

In two situations relative to cancer occurrence, seeking a second opinion will give you a clearer diagnosis and treatment outcome. These are misdiagnoses of cancer and rare or uncommon cancer.

  • Misdiagnosed Cancers

The most commonly misdiagnosed malignancies, according to experts, are caused by their high frequency of incidence. Furthermore, many people may not show signs or symptoms of this or other types of cancer till their condition has progressed. As a result, both doctors and patients should be conscious of symptoms, how they progress or dissipate, and their interaction with treatment regimens. Some commonly misdiagnosed cancers are  Lymphoma, Breast cancer, Colon cancer, Lung cancer, and skin cancers.

  • Rare Cancer or a Rare Subtype of Cancer

Cancers that affect fewer than 40,000 persons each year are known as rare cancers. There are several different kinds, but an oncologist can tell you whether a particular cancer is rare or unusual. Doctors see rare and unusual malignancies less frequently because they occur less frequently. They are also more difficult to examine, and treatment options are often limited. This implies you can benefit from speaking with an oncologist who specializes in a particular type of rare cancer and works at a cancer center that offers cutting-edge treatments that are not available anywhere else.

If you have been given a diagnosis with common cancer in its initial stages and are satisfied with the oncologist’s findings, prognosis, and treatment plan, even then a second opinion can reconfirm these or provide new insights. A second opinion also helps when one is not so sure about their prognosis or treatment plan, the cancer is complex, or one has been given limited options for treatment. Let us look at the common scenarios in which we advocate seeking a second opinion basis for any diagnosis.

  • Reconfirm Your Diagnosis or Learn more about Your Treatment Options

When you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is natural to want to be sure that the treatment plan you have chosen is the optimum one for you. This is particularly necessary if you have been diagnosed with a malignancy that is aggressive. Diagnostic errors do occur, and different oncologists may arrive at different diagnoses. Furthermore, not all hospitals and doctors approach cancer in the same manner. Even when the second opinion matches the previous diagnosis and treatment plan, having it confirmed will give you more confidence and peace of mind.

  • An Invasive or Life-Changing Operation is Part of Your Treatment Plan

A tumor may require surgery to be removed. Consider seeking a second opinion if the surgical treatment provided to you isn’t considered minimally invasive. Several cancer procedures are becoming less invasive thanks to new technologies and use of interventional radiology and approaches like robotic systems and laparoscopic techniques. These operations are becoming more widely available, but some still require higher levels of technology and/or surgical expertise than most institutions can provide. Although not all cancer surgeries can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, getting a second opinion can help ensure that you’re having the least intrusive treatment.

  • Extended Treatment is Part of Your Treatment Plan

If your treatment plan calls for you to take drugs indefinitely, getting a second opinion might help you be sure you’re on the right track. A second opinion is also a good method to ensure the choice of your care team can provide you with all the services you’ll need to maintain the prolonged treatment plan efficiently.

  • Cancer is Not Responding to the Present Line of Treatment

Cancer is a complicated disease, and sometimes the initial treatment plan does not produce the desired results. If that’s the case, getting a second opinion can help you figure out if there is a better strategy to treat your cancer.

How Does it Work for Better Management?

Cancer Treatments and Related Risk Management

There are many types of cancer treatments. Treatment options vary depending on the type of cancer one is suffering from and how far it has progressed. The majority of people, however, receive a combination of treatments, such as surgery along with chemotherapy and radiation, to name a few. When it comes to cancer treatment, there is a lot to understand and consider. The decision is taken considering the type, stage of cancer, related risks, and the extent to which someone can withstand treatments such as chemotherapy. When you speak with the doctor and move towards understanding the various treatment options available to you, it gives more confidence to the patient and their caregivers and loved ones. We bring to you some of the Cancer Treatments available and the management of risks associated with them.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug-based treatment that kills the body’s rapidly multiplying cells. Chemotherapy drugs and dosage are decided by the doctor based on several factors including the type, stage, and body weight. There is the risk of side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment. Each medicine has its own set of adverse effects, and not all drugs produce all of them. Many of these adverse effects are avoidable or treatable. The majority of side effects fade away once treatment is completed. The potential risk of side effects can be managed with scans and tests and regular consultations with the specialist. A second opinion can help you navigate the treatment decision considering the risks easily and seamlessly.

  • Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a cancer treatment that involves administering high radiation doses to cancer cells to kill them and/or to shrink tumors. There are different types of radiotherapies available, including stereotactic radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, proton therapy, etc. The precise dose and focus of radiation beams used during your treatment are meticulously prepared to maximize radiation to cancer cells while minimizing the risk of injury to healthy tissue in the surrounding region. The risk of injury and of developing side effects can be avoided or managed rightly by consultations with the specialist even if it means taking a second opinion.

  • Surgery

Surgery, a procedure wherein a surgeon removes cancer from the body as a part of their Cancer treatment. Despite the fact that science and modern technology have made surgery a secure and safe treatment option, there is always the possibility of complications and adverse effects. However, in many circumstances, the benefits of surgery are much more than the risks. Therefore, it is critical to educate yourself about cancer and treatment options. The more information you have regarding cancer surgery, the better informed your decisions will be. A second opinion ensures that before starting treatment, you are sure about the potential issues before and after surgery and work with the healthcare team to manage them.

  • Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplantation (SCT), also known as bone marrow transplantation, is a process in which a patient’s damaged or diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy, blood-forming marrow cells. There are two main kinds of bone marrow transplants: autologous and allogeneic. This treatment is specifically used for conditions such as blood cancers and conditions that result when the bone marrow is not functioning properly to produce blood cells, causing immune dysfunction and other complications.  A second opinion with our team of certified specialists will give you confidence in the decision to get a stem cell transplant and its advantages.

There are many other kinds of treatments available for cancers such as Targeted Therapy, Hyperthermia, Immunotherapy, Hormone Therapy, etc. Your decision to move forward with any of them requires a careful understanding of your condition, associated risks of the present and next line of treatment, and an understanding of available treatment options. Get a consultation and a second opinion if required to ensure you are availing of the best possible treatment for your condition.

Cancer Risk Factors and their Management

Anything that raises a person’s risk of developing cancer is referred to as a cancer risk factor. However, the majority of risk factors do not cause cancer outright. Many people who have a number of risk factors never get cancer. Many do as well, even if they have no identified risk factors. It is critical to understand the risk factors and discuss them with the healthcare provider. It will assist in making better lifestyle decisions that will improve the health and the requirement of counseling and kind of tests to be availed.

  • Alcohol and Cancer

Less the alcohol people consume, the lower their cancer risk. Drinking alcohol increases the chances of acquiring six different types of cancer they are Mouth and throat, Voicebox (larynx), Esophagus, Colon and rectum, Liver, and Breast Cancer (in women).

  • Family Health History and Cancer

One could be at a higher risk for breast, ovarian, uterine, or colorectal cancer when they have a family history of these malignancies. Understanding the family’s medical history might also assist the patient as well as the doctor in determining whether genetic counseling or testing is appropriate for the patient.

  • Tobacco and Cancer

Tobacco usage (including cigarettes and cigars) is responsible for nearly nine out of ten occurrences of lung cancer. Tobacco use, on the other hand, can cause cancer practically anywhere in the body, including the lungs.

  • HPV and Cancer

The most frequent HPV-related disease is cervical cancer, although HPV can also cause malignancies of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, even the base of tongue and tonsils).  HPV may infect the throat and mouth, causing oropharyngeal malignancies. Oropharyngeal cancer is the name for this type of cancer.

  • Obesity and Cancer

It is important to note that an overweight or obese person has an increased likelihood of getting 13 different cancers. For example, such cancers account for 40% of all cancers identified every year in the United States.

Let us understand how best to mitigate and ensure better management of these risk factors. It can be done by following through with the steps outlined below

  • Avoiding Risky Behaviors

Avoiding risky behaviors can help you manage some risk factors. Tobacco and alcohol use, becoming overweight, and multiple sunburns are all examples. Some risk factors, like growing older, cannot really be avoided but managed as well as possible.

  • Cancer Screening

Cancer screening tests are designed to detect cancer before it develops symptoms and when it is more manageable to cure. An efficient screening test is recognizable for early cancer detection. It has far more tangible advantages than risks. There are several cancer screening tests such as Screening mammography for Breast cancer, Human papillomavirus (HPV) tests and Pap tests for Cervical cancer, and Low-dose helical computed tomography, a kind of CT scan for Lung cancer.

Risk Assessment: Absolute and Relative Risk

Specialists utilize absolute and relative risk to determine whether a person’s risk is higher than or lower than that of the overall population or a specific group. Risk assessments can help patients make better decisions regarding lifestyle changes or the need to undergo cancer screening.

  • Asking the Right Questions

It is important for you to ask the right questions to your healthcare provider so that they can engage with you in a more effective way. This will also help you in making the right decisions regarding a probable Cancer treatment. Regular and timely consultations, and if need be, ensuring a consistent diagnosis via a Second Opinion will help you better manage the risk factors.

Second Opinion with MediGence

When you decide to avail a second opinion with MediGence, it would be a beneficial prospect to you as it would come with various advantages. ThinkTWICE is an intelligent technology platform to bridge the gap between patients and their need to obtain an expert second opinion on their diagnosis. This service is designed to help you get an opinion on your diagnosis and the proposed line of treatment.

  • Clinical Workbench

Our intelligent clinical workbench compiles the medical record of the patient accurately for doctors to collaborate to provide an accurate written second opinion.

  • Global Team of Certified Doctors

A global team of doctors for multiple conditions makes it easy for doctors to collaborate on our world-class platform to review each case to provide collective feedback.

  • Add on Telemedicine Option for Report Explanation

Additional service by a Lead doctor of the board to explain the second opinion report in length over the Telemedicine option.

Last modified on at Aug 17, 2022

Reviewed By :- Umang Singh

Amit Bansal

Amit Bansal is a serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and CEO of MediGence. He has more than 17 years of strong technology experience. Having worked for some of the recognized companies in India, Australia and traveled worldwide to help businesses to grow multi-folded under his leadership and strategic guidance.

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