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Second Opinion on Diagnosis
Although you don’t have a legal right to a second opinion, a healthcare professional will consider your circumstances and whether a second opinion is needed.
Do you need a second opinion?
Before asking for a second opinion, it’s worth asking your GP or consultant to go over your diagnosis and explain anything you don’t understand.
If you’re unhappy with your diagnosis or would like to consider a different course of treatment, discuss this with them. Your GP or consultant will be happy to explain things and, in many cases, there may be no need for a second opinion.
Can anyone else ask for a second opinion?
Your family or carer can also ask for a second opinion on your behalf, but only with your consent. If someone requests a second opinion on your behalf, they should have all the information about your illness or condition, and check they understand it thoroughly.
Sometimes a GP or consultant may ask a colleague to provide a second opinion. For example, doctors may ask their colleagues about a complicated case.
Second opinion from a different GP
If you would like a second opinion after receiving advice from your GP, you could book an appointment to see a different GP, if you’re registered at a surgery with more than one GP.
Alternatively, you could re-register at a different GP surgery.
Second opinion from a different consultant
If you would like a second opinion after seeing a consultant (a senior medical doctor who specialises in a particular field of medicine), you can discuss this with them directly or with the hospital unit.
You could also contact the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if you have any concerns or complaints.
Find your local PALS
You’ll usually need to go back to your GP and ask them to refer you again. If your GP agrees to refer you to a new consultant, the consultant will be told that this is your second opinion. They’ll also be sent any relevant test results or X-rays previously carried out.
This doesn’t mean the new consultant will automatically take over your care. If you want to be treated by the new consultant, this needs to be arranged with the doctors and hospital.
How long will I have to wait for a second opinion?
People who ask for a second opinion have already seen a doctor, so they may have to wait. A second opinion with a different consultant will also usually be at a different hospital, which may involve some travelling.
Getting a second opinion may therefore delay any treatment you need. If you have a serious medical condition, you should take this into account when deciding to ask for a second opinion. Ask your doctor whether a delay in starting treatment could be harmful.
We offer an online nurse training course which aims to increase nurses specialists knowledge in kidney cancer. With the aim to keep nurses up-to-date with current kidney cancer treatments and care which will be of benefit to them and to their patients.
We are currently developing a course for doctors with the aim of improving early diagnosis rates and specialist knowledge. This course will be aimed at GPs and newly qualified doctors to give them further knowledge in the area of kidney cancer.
If you are a health professional you can click here to be taken to the health professional portal and – when it returns – access the training course. You can also gain access to an online order form for our series of three, free ‘Understanding Kidney Cancer’ booklet and Careline poster which you can hand out to your patients HERE.
Kidney Cancer UK actively fund research projects into kidney cancer. Some of our sponsors specifically ask for their donations to be put to use funding grass roots research. With the aim of contributing to research that could lead to a cure for kidney cancer and improve current treatments. If you are interested in specifically donating to research please contact us.
We provide a service to enable you to get involved in clinical trials if you wish to HERE. Finding information on relevant clinical trials, especially in your location can be difficult. We have described the clinical trial process in more details on the ‘clinical trials’ page and given you the relevant ‘key words’ and link to the clinical trials gateway that you can use to find suitable clinical trials. It is also worth asking your doctors and nurses if there are any clinical trials that you can get involved in if this interests you.
Kidney Cancer UK run an annual patient survey to find out what you think of the care and treatments that you have received. It is also useful for us to know what type of treatments and care are being received across the country to make sure that there is uniformity. The survey also helps us form ideas for future campaigns, highlighting areas that need improvement; for example early diagnosis.
Occasionally we will run mini surveys to find out your opinion on a specific area or topics happening at the time. In we have presented our survey results to a number of conferences and organisations including The International Kidney Cancer Coalition Conference (IKCC), the national Early Diagnosis Conference, and many other industry bodies spreading the word about the need for improvements kidney cancer early diagnosis.
All survey results can be viewed HERE. Please get involved in these surveys if you would like your voice to be heard and would like to contribute to improving kidney cancer care.
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