Suggested links

Mesothelioma Second Opinion

If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first thing you should do is get a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis. A second opinion will allow another doctor to make sure your original diagnosis was correct. Learn more about mesothelioma second opinions below.

Medically reviewed by: Assuntina Sacco, MD

Last updated:

Getting a Second Opinion for Mesothelioma

A doctor takes notes as he speaks with a patient

Even if you feel confident in your diagnosis and your prescribed treatment plan, you should always seek a second opinion from a specialist if you have mesothelioma.

Through a second opinion, another mesothelioma specialist will review your diagnosis and offer their own feedback. Your diagnosis and prognosis could change after a second opinion, or it could stay the same.

With a mesothelioma second opinion, you can:

  • Be more confident in your treatment strategy
  • Better understand your cancer diagnosis
  • Eliminate any chance of misdiagnosis
  • Increase your survival time

Most medical professionals will be completely fine with you wanting a second opinion and may even recommend it themselves.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help you find top doctors who can diagnose you, offer a second opinion, and recommend the best treatments. Get started with our Free Doctor Match.

Mesothelioma doctor talking with an older couple
Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match

We'll help you connect with a local mesothelioma specialist for personalized treatment.

Find a Doctor Near You

Get Your Second Opinion Quickly

A mesothelioma diagnosis can come as a shock. However, try to persevere through your emotions and get a second opinion on your diagnosis quickly.

Because the symptoms of mesothelioma are often mild at first, many patients aren’t aware that they have cancer until they are in the later stages of the disease, where every day can make a difference.

The sooner your diagnosis is confirmed with a second opinion, the sooner you can start treatments to help you live longer.

“If your doctor is not a professional and has not lived it and breathed it, get another oncologist. You need someone experienced — someone who’s going to fight for you and with you.”
— Mary Jane Williams, 15-year peritoneal mesothelioma survivor

How Do I Get a Second Opinion?

Accessing the world’s top mesothelioma specialists is easier than most people think. In many cases, you simply have to ask for one.

To get a second opinion, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a cancer center, preferably one with a mesothelioma program.
  2. Contact the hospital and ask to become a patient.
  3. Get your physician to submit a referral form (if required).
  4. Send your complete medical history, including any scans, to the hospital.
  5. Schedule your first appointment.

While some of the nation’s top cancer hospitals require a formal referral, many don’t.

Regardless, mesothelioma specialists understand the urgency required in creating a treatment plan. Thus, delays may be minimal for patients if they contact a hospital with a mesothelioma program.

Mesothelioma patients can possibly schedule an appointment within just a few days.

Reasons to Get a Mesothelioma Second Opinion

There are plenty of reasons why getting a mesothelioma second opinion is in your best interest. Learn about a few of the top reasons below.

Avoid a Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis

Mesothelioma misdiagnosis is unfortunately still a common occurrence. In fact, 22.6% of those with pleural mesothelioma are misdiagnosed at first, according to research published in Open Epidemiology Journal.

Both false positive and false negative mesothelioma diagnoses are common, which is why you need to get a second opinion if your tests indicate you have mesothelioma.

Confirm Mesothelioma Stage

Even once mesothelioma has been correctly diagnosed, you still need a second opinion to help confirm the disease stage.

Mesothelioma stages don’t always look the way the stages do in other types of cancer. Therefore, it’s critical that a specialist reviews and confirms your mesothelioma stage.

Connect With Top Mesothelioma Experts

You can use a second opinion as an opportunity to connect with specialists that specifically treat mesothelioma.

Not only will a mesothelioma doctors review the results of your initial diagnosis, but they can also develop a treatment strategy that will help you fight this cancer.

Mesothelioma specialists have devoted a significant portion of their careers to diagnosing and treating mesothelioma, giving them insight that other oncologists and doctors simply don’t have.

Better Understand Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis

When you get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist, you’ll be able to ask each and every question you have and be confident in the information that’s being shared.

Even hearing the same information for the second time can help you better absorb it and understand what’s happening in your body.

Our team has compiled a download of questions you can ask your mesothelioma doctor. Stay prepared and download our free checklist right now.

14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor packet
Free Download: 14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor
  • Preparing for treatment
  • Finding clinical trials
  • Getting a second opinion

Get Your Free Download

Develop the Right Mesothelioma Treatment Strategy

Through a second opinion, you may learn about different treatment options for your cancer. This is important as experts across the nation have different ideas about treating mesothelioma.

For example, some surgeons are strong advocates of removing the lung for pleural mesothelioma patients, while others feel just as strongly about saving it. Thus, one doctor may not use a particular treatment over another.

By getting a mesothelioma second opinion, you’ll have a better overall picture of your options and be able to seek the best treatments for you and your family.

Where Do I Get a Mesothelioma Second Opinion?

When getting a second opinion, choose a mesothelioma specialist who works at a hospital that has Comprehensive Cancer Center status by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Ideally, you should also choose a cancer center that has a designated mesothelioma program, although not all of them do.

We can help you find top mesothelioma doctors and cancer centers so you can get a second opinion. Get started with our Free Doctor Match.

Mesothelioma doctor talking with an older couple
Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match

We'll help you connect with a local mesothelioma specialist for personalized treatment.

Find a Doctor Near You

Who Pays for a Mesothelioma Second Opinion?

Most insurance companies recognize the value of mesothelioma second opinions and will cover the costs after a cancer diagnosis. In fact, some insurance providers won’t even pay for cancer treatments until you’ve received a second opinion.

Be sure to check with your provider for your specific coverage details and find out what their limitations are for choosing a mesothelioma specialist.

If you need help paying for the costs of a second opinion or any other bills related to your diagnosis, the Mesothelioma Hope team can determine if you’re eligible financial aid and other benefits.

Get a Mesothelioma Second Opinion Now

You should never feel bad about seeking a second opinion because it is your right to do so. You are in charge of your health, so you should feel empowered to make decisions that will help you survive and live a healthy life.

Part of this means you’ll need to seek other professional opinions that can help you better understand your disease and confirm what you’re dealing with.

Use our Free Doctor Match to get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist today.

Mesothelioma Second Opinion FAQs

Will my mesothelioma doctor be offended if I get a second opinion?

No. Top doctors know that mesothelioma is a very rare cancer that can be hard to diagnose. They will understand if you want to get a second opinion after a diagnosis — and may even encourage getting one.

Consider that even the world’s top mesothelioma specialists tend to work on multidisciplinary teams. Even the “best of the best” doctors have to rely on the advice and expertise of a range of experts when diagnosing and treating mesothelioma.

Thus, you should never feel bad about getting a second opinion.

Does insurance cover second opinions for a mesothelioma diagnosis?

Possibly, yes. Check with your insurance provider before getting a second opinion to make sure.

Even if your insurer won’t cover the costs of a mesothelioma second opinion, there are still ways you can afford care.

Why is getting a second opinion after a mesothelioma diagnosis important?

Getting a mesothelioma second opinion is important for a number of reasons.

  • You might qualify for more treatments than you originally thought
  • You might not even have mesothelioma
  • If you do have mesothelioma, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you were correctly diagnosed initially
  • Once you’ve received your second opinion, you can move forward with a treatment plan

Work with our team to find a mesothelioma doctor who can provide a second opinion. Reach out to us at (866) 608-8933 to get started.

Dr. Assuntina SaccoReviewed by:Assuntina Sacco, MD

Board-Certified Oncologist

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Assuntina Sacco, MD is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Moores Cancer Center, where she also serves as the Medical Director of Infusion Services. She is a board-certified medical oncologist trained to treat all solid tumor types, with the use of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trials.

Dr. Assuntina Sacco is an independently paid medical reviewer.

  • Board-Certified Oncologist
  • Associate Professor at UC San Diego
  • Published Medical Author
Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

Our Promise to You
Our Promise to You
References
  1. American Society of Clinical Oncology. (2021, July 13). Seeking a second opinion. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/cancer-basics/cancer-care-team/seeking-second-opinion
  2. Kopylev, L., Sullivan, P., & Et al. (n.d.). Monte Carlo Analysis of Impact of Underascertainment of Mesothelioma Cases on Underestimation of Risk. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOEPIJ/TOEPIJ-4-45.pdf
  3. National Cancer Institute. (2019, June 24). NCI-designated Cancer Centers. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers
  4. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Advanced Cancer. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/advanced-cancer/questions
Free 30-Minute ConversationWith Jenna Tozzi, RN
Fill Out Your Contact Information
How We Can Help

Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

(866) 608-8933
Medical Guidance
  • Get a second opinion
  • Find a doctor or cancer center
  • Access clinical trials
  • Improve your quality of life
Financial Assistance
  • Access $30 billion in trust funds
  • File a mesothelioma claim
  • Increase your VA benefits
  • Apply for travel grants
Supportive Care
  • Find a support group or peer mentor
  • Get help with daily tasks
  • Explore respite care options
  • Navigate life post-treatment