Any diagnosis of cancer deserves a second opinion. The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Second Opinion Program makes it easy to request a second opinion after you’ve been diagnosed with any type of cancer. In many cases, it will take just one visit.
Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many treatment options available. Everything should be tailored to you as an individual, and it’s important that you be involved in deciding the course of treatment that is best for you. The choices you make now will affect your health and your life long into the future.
Dedicated Expertise Means More Choices, Best Possible Results
We combine experience with superior health care delivery and a dedicated patient focus to deliver the best possible outcomes.
Our cancer physicians are experts in their fields and understand all the nuances of their individual cancer specialties. They are keenly aware of the many treatment options available and understand the importance of forming treatment plans that fit your quality-of-life goals and future plans.
As part of an academic medical center, we have the resources, technology, expertise and compassion to accurately evaluate your diagnosis and effectively treat your cancer.
A second opinion will confirm your diagnosis, tell you more about your treatment options, help you choose the best course of action for you, and introduce you to some of the country’s leading cancer experts.
The Value of a Cancer Second Opinion
Unparalleled expertise — We are proud to have some of the country’s top cancer physicians treating patients. The depth of training, technology, expertise and resources on our team means you’re more likely to have a better outcome the first time around — with less chance of your cancer recurring.
Prompt access to appointments — We will work with you to schedule your second opinion visit in a timeframe that works for you and your schedule. In many cases, and with the appropriate background information, it will take just one visit for us to offer our opinion about your diagnosis and treatment options.
Broad range of diagnostic and treatment options — You'll have access to the full spectrum of advanced diagnostic and treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapies and targeted interventions. We also offer a broad range of clinical trials for all types of cancer – offering you options that may not be widely available.
Active participation in the decision-making process — We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan and to make sure our recommendations fit your life and your goals.
Ease of use — From your first contact with us and throughout the second opinion process, a new patient coordinator will work closely with you to ensure we have all the information needed to make an accurate evaluation of your condition. The coordinator will even help you obtain medical records needed before your appointment.
Clinical trials — Because we are a leading academic medical center, there are often opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials of new treatment approaches in surgery, radiation therapy and medical therapies, as well as other types of clinical research, such as quality of life studies.
Peace of mind — Seeking a second opinion is common and encouraged throughout the medical community. You won’t offend your physician by seeking one. A second opinion will confirm your diagnosis and assure you that you are on the right treatment path - or recommend a new approach. You could also learn about treatment options available to you that you never considered.
What to Expect from a Cancer Second Opinion
Once you’ve requested a second opinion appointment, a new patient coordinator will talk with you and then gather your medical records, test results and any other information needed for an accurate evaluation. During your visit, a physician will review your medical records, conduct a physical exam and get a sense of your priorities and concerns.
Because there are so many variables to consider, the physician will help you understand risks and benefits of your treatment options, weigh the pros and cons and gain a complete understanding. Factors such as age, other health issues, family history, your personal philosophy on risk vs. benefit and your cancer stage should be considered before choosing a course of treatment. What’s right for one person could be absolutely wrong for another. We will engage you in the decision-making process.
If additional specialists should be consulted regarding your case, we may be able to arrange these consultations during your second opinion visit. If further tests are required, staff will work with you to arrange appointments. Our goal is always to provide you and your doctor with a state-of-the-science evaluation and treatment plan.
Most insurance companies cover second opinion visits. You will need to check with your insurance carrier regarding your plan coverage prior to your visit.
Cancer Second Opinion Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, is there time for a second opinion?
In most cases, there is time. With a decision that’s going to impact your health and your life in such a significant way, taking a little extra time to get a second opinion on your cancer and its treatment can be invaluable.
What does a cancer second opinion offer — what is the value?
A cancer second opinion at an academic medical center can provide value in a number of important ways: it can confirm your diagnosis, provide you with options you didn’t know you had — like clinical trials — and it can even give you peace of mind in knowing you’re on the right path.
When is the right time to get a cancer second opinion?
Ideally, you should seek a second opinion before you start cancer treatment. But you can also seek a second opinion at any time during your treatment when you might have questions, are not sure you’re on the right treatment path — or even if you’ve been told there are no more treatment options available for you.
Will insurance cover a cancer second opinion?
In most cases, yes. It’s always best to check in with your insurance company first.
I’m worried that my doctor will be offended if I seek a second opinion. Should I be?
Your doctor won’t be offended and should, in fact, encourage you to get a second opinion to make sure you are completely comfortable with your treatment plan. Getting a second opinion doesn’t mean you must switch doctors. You may, after learning more. Or you may decide everything is proceeding as it should.
Is it ok to bring questions to the second opinion appointment?
Absolutely. In fact, we love it if you come with a list of questions. That is what we’re here for, and we want to make sure you have all the answers you need.
What can a person expect from a cancer second opinion with the Froedtert & MCW health network?
Our doctors will review medical records and tests and talk with you about your priorities. They’ll help you understand your diagnosis and risks and benefits of recommended treatment options. You should leave your second opinion appointment feeling like you have enough information to make an informed decision.
When there’s already a diagnosis, it might seem too overwhelming to seek a second opinion. How can that be resolved?
While it can seem overwhelming, we are set up to make getting a cancer second opinion as simple as possible. Just one call starts the process. We’ll gather all your medical records, make appointments and coordinate everything needed. You need only arrive for your appointment — we’ll take it from there.
Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report
Froedtert Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in three adult specialties and 16 procedures and conditions, including cancer.