While it’s important not to wait too long to receive proper care after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s just as vital for patients to take the time to get a second opinion. This critical step helps those diagnosed receive the most precise treatment tailored to their unique asbestos-related disease.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Is Complex

There’s no doubt that a cancer diagnosis can be scary. Understandably so, a mesothelioma diagnosis elicits a sense of urgency for those affected. Patients want to have the best chances of improving their prognosis, and often that means seeking treatment as quickly as possible once diagnosed.

However, as tempting as it is to move forward swiftly, it’s just as important to seek out a mesothelioma second opinion to ensure the right treatment methods for your specific illness.

The reality is this—asbestos-related diagnoses are always complex. Symptoms are not always crystal clear making it possible to misdiagnose mesothelioma for a more common cancer type, such as lung cancer.

Why Getting a Second Opinion Is Important

There are many different types of asbestos-related illnesses and each requires specialized treatment options. for the best chance of effectiveness.

An incorrect diagnosis could mean the difference between receiving a lifesaving surgery tailored to your disease or undergoing ineffective treatment that prolongs pain and suffering.

Lots of factors affect a diagnosis, including:

  • Physicians could mistake true mesothelioma with more common ailments such as a severe cold or flu, which could both have overlapping symptoms.
  • Pleural mesothelioma could be mistaken for general lung cancer.
  • Unless a patient is already aware and/or upfront about prior asbestos exposure, a correct mesothelioma diagnosis could be missed entirely.

For these reasons, it’s important that patients seek out a mesothelioma second opinion of another physician—preferably one who specializes in your cancer-type—prior to receiving any treatment. Having this affirmation often gives patients a better peace of mind, plus a clearer idea of the realities of their disease, including prognosis and what to expect.

A correct diagnosis can lead to your physician matching you with available clinical trials or alternative therapies.

How to Get a Mesothelioma Second Opinion

If you’re considering getting a mesothelioma second opinion, here’s how to get started:

1. Research Specialists in Your Area

First and foremost, seek out the advice of an expert. Sometimes patients can find a local doctor, but most patients need to travel to metro areas.

Don’t be afraid to ask your initial doctor for recommendations—many physicians are accustomed to being asked for second opinion referrals and some may even encourage it.

2. Ask for Specifics

Ask each doctor you see to explain his or her diagnosis and how that conclusion was reached. Ask questions like:

  • What is your diagnostic process?
  • What are the side effects of the treatment you’ve recommended to me?
  • What if this doesn’t work?

When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, there is no such thing as too many questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details.

3. Contact Us to Connect With a Mesothelioma Doctor

There are other avenues to find help. You can reach out to a medical society or institution accredited by the National Cancer Institute, which could point you in the right direction.

Or you can contact our Justice Support Team to learn more about getting matched with a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in your exact illness.

Getting a second opinion and confirmed diagnosis means patients will be able to file more detailed mesothelioma claims, and have a greater chance of getting the compensation they deserve.

Need help finding a physician for a second opinion, or looking to file a mesothelioma claim? Contact our Justice Support Team today at (866) 608-8933 or request a FREE Mesothelioma Justice Guide to better understand your treatment options.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

  1. Cancer Care, “When to Get a Second Opinion” Retrieved from https://www.cancercare.org/publications/264-when_to_get_a_second_opinion Accessed June 5, 2018.

  2. Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “When to Get a Second Opinion” Retrieved from https://www.cancercenter.com/secondopinion/why-get-a-second-opinion Accessed June 5, 2018.

  3. American Cancer Society, “Seeking a Second Opinion” Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/mesothelioma-treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/choosing-your-treatment-team/seeking-a-second-opinion.html Accessed June 5, 2018.

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