Cancer News Network

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Diagnosed with cancer? Get a second opinion!


Medindia.com: Researchers feel that a second opinion is very vital for cancer patients as this would help improve the type of treatment and it should surely be taken before undergoing surgery.

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center wanted to find out whether cancer diagnosis and treatment differed with specialists. The records of 149 breast cancer patients diagnosed elsewhere was referred to the center's tumor board for a second opinion. The result was startling as treatment recommendations for 77 (almost 52 %) were different. The tumor board consisted of specialists from pathology, radiology and oncology.
Change in opinion was seen in all aspects beginning from interpretation of mammograms to the necessity for mastectomy. In most cases an additional cancer site was found. 6 out of 149 patients had residual cancer, 1 patient’s cancer was upgraded from benign to invasive cancer. The report of this study was published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Cancer.
All of them had undergone all tests required for a diagnosis and all arrived with biopsy slides, X-rays and a surgeon’s recommendation at the cancer center for a second opinion.

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