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Second Opinions for Cancer Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s often worth seeking a second opinion about a cancer diagnosis before starting treatment, but is it still safe and worthwhile to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A second opinion can confirm the details of your diagnosis and potentially offer different ideas for treatment plans, including access to unique options like clinical trials. That’s especially true if you’re dealing with a cancer that’s rare or hard to treat.

Still, you might be wondering whether venturing out to consult with another doctor is a good idea right now. While it’s normal to have concerns about your safety, if you would have sought a second opinion before the pandemic, experts say that you should still get one now.

How We’re Handling Second Opinions During COVID-19

A major cancer center like Fox Chase is the best place to get a second opinion for a cancer diagnosis. You’ll have access to clinicians who are specialized in your type of cancer and are up-to-date on the latest treatment options.

During this difficult time, we are open and operating under normal business hours, and we’re taking strong actions to keep COVID-19 out of our center. In addition, to keep our patients safe, we are offering telehealth appointments (video and phone consultations) for many new patients seeking second opinions, depending on their disease type and whether a physical exam is necessary.

If you need to attend an appointment in person, know that extra precautions have been put in place to protect you and your loved ones. We’re providing masks for everyone who comes through our doors, screening all of our patients, and checking the temperatures of all of our employees daily. We have also developed the ability to quickly test for the virus that causes COVID-19 and are testing all patients prior to surgery or admission, as well as before other treatments when clinically appropriate.

Peace of Mind in Times of Uncertainty

There are rarely any sure answers with cancer, and it’s easy to second-guess whether you’re making the right choices. While second opinions are crucial for helping you decide the best possible treatment course, they can also make you feel more confident about those decisions.

You may not be able to control what happens with COVID-19, but you can feel good knowing that you’re taking every step you can to control your cancer by getting the right opinions and determining your next steps.

Medically Reviewed by Anthony J. Olszanski, MD, RPh