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and your family
Research for
the cure
Surviving
Lymphoma
Who we are You can help
help at national cancer institute

It’s never too late to get a second opinion

Need Advice? If you are having trouble obtaining your medical records or getting a second opinion, feel free to call the Patient HelpLine of the Lymphoma Foundation of America at 1-800-385-1060. One of our nurse-counselors will help you understand the steps you need to take.



Why is it important to get a second opinion?

It is important to make sure that your cancer diagnosis is correct. An accurate diagnosis helps you and your doctor decide on the best treatments for your particular type of lymphoma. A critical part of your diagnosis is the pathology report. When you get a second opinion from a lymphoma doctor, be sure to also request a second opinion on your biopsy slides from a lymphoma pathologist.

Experts suggest that you go to a cancer specialist independent of the medical practice or medical center where you were first diagnosed. That way, the second doctor can more easily give you an impartial opinion.

Reasons to get a second opinion:

  • you want to be sure it’s cancer and not something else
  • you want to get the most accurate diagnosis possible
  • you don’t understand your diagnosis
  • you want to explore more treatments than those discussed by your doctor
  • you want to talk to someone who specializes in your subtype of lymphoma
  • you have a rare type of lymphoma or an unusual situation
  • you are not satisfied with answers about aggressive treatment vs. “watch and wait”
  • you are being treated for other major illnesses
  • you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • you want to see a doctor at a medical center that is known for lymphoma
  • you want to learn more about immunotherapy, gene therapy, and stem cell transplants at a different cancer center
  • you want to consider a clinical trial
  • you want to know about future treatment options if you choose a particular treatment now
  • you may want to find a doctor you can talk to candidly about your personal situation
  • you prefer to talk with a female or male doctor

Getting your medical records

Ask your doctor to send copies of your complete medical records to the second opinion doctor. Or go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent or given directly to you to hand carry to the second opinion doctor. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Be sure to bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Which medical records will I need?

Be sure to request copies of ALL your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of x-ray films (digital), CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual biopsy slides of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full medical record to the second opinion doctor. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for complete copies of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, it’s a good idea to ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor. That way, you may avoid being charged for copying costs and other fees.

How to get a second opinion

A cancer center that has a lymphoma treatment program or a hematology/oncology department has lymphoma doctors who can give you a second opinion. (For contact information for all NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, you can use our Lymphoma Specialists Referral list).

Once you have chosen your second opinion doctor, ask your current doctor to send copies of your medical records to the second opinion doctor. You can also go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Be sure to request copies of ALL of your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of your x-ray films (digital) , CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual slides with the biopsy of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full and actual medical records. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for a complete copy of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, you may be charged copying costs and other fees, unless you ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor.

It’s best to go in person to the doctor’s office for your second opinion. But if the office is too far away, you may be able to consult with the doctor by phone.

Doctors can have different opinions

There are more than 40 different types of lymphoma, and many different treatment approaches. One doctor or hospital may favor a certain approach; another doctor may have a different point of view. The choice may depend on many things: where the doctor was trained, the doctor’s experience in treating your type of lymphoma, the technology available to the doctor, whether the hospital or medical center is a research center.

Can I get a third opinion?

Yes. It may be worthwhile to get a third opinion if the first two lymphoma doctors disagree or their recommendations are not clear to you. It is important for you have confidence in the diagnosis and treatment recommendation of whoever you choose as your oncologist. Getting a third opinion is not only helpful to you and your family, but can provide valuable information to your lymphoma doctor.

Paying for a Second or Third Opinion

When making a second or third opinion appointment with a lymphoma doctor, many patients explain to the person who schedules appointments that they wish to make a “new patient office visit.” This designation helps the scheduler know that you will need extra time with the doctor. It also may help with filing your claim for health insurance coverage. Please check with Medicare or your health insurance company — or ask your second opinion doctor’s office to check for you — to verify your coverage for a new patient office visit when you call to make an appointment. Ask specifically if the doctor participates with your health insurance plan.

CONTACT US

©2017 Lymphoma Foundation of America. LymphomoHelp® All rights reserved.
lymphoma foundation of America
help at national cancer institute

It’s never too late to get a second opinion

Need Advice? If you are having trouble obtaining your medical records or getting a second opinion, feel free to call the Patient HelpLine of the Lymphoma Foundation of America at 1-800-385-1060. One of our nurse-counselors will help you understand the steps you need to take.



Why is it important to get a second opinion?

It is important to make sure that your cancer diagnosis is correct. An accurate diagnosis helps you and your doctor decide on the best treatments for your particular type of lymphoma. A critical part of your diagnosis is the pathology report. When you get a second opinion from a lymphoma doctor, be sure to also request a second opinion on your biopsy slides from a lymphoma pathologist.

Experts suggest that you go to a cancer specialist independent of the medical practice or medical center where you were first diagnosed. That way, the second doctor can more easily give you an impartial opinion.

Reasons to get a second opinion:

  • you want to be sure it’s cancer and not something else
  • you want to get the most accurate diagnosis possible
  • you don’t understand your diagnosis
  • you want to explore more treatments than those discussed by your doctor
  • you want to talk to someone who specializes in your subtype of lymphoma
  • you have a rare type of lymphoma or an unusual situation
  • you are not satisfied with answers about aggressive treatment vs. “watch and wait”
  • you are being treated for other major illnesses
  • you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • you want to see a doctor at a medical center that is known for lymphoma
  • you want to learn more about immunotherapy, gene therapy, and stem cell transplants at a different cancer center
  • you want to consider a clinical trial
  • you want to know about future treatment options if you choose a particular treatment now
  • you may want to find a doctor you can talk to candidly about your personal situation
  • you prefer to talk with a female or male doctor

Getting your medical records

Ask your doctor to send copies of your complete medical records to the second opinion doctor. Or go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent or given directly to you to hand carry to the second opinion doctor. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Be sure to bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Which medical records will I need?

Be sure to request copies of ALL your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of x-ray films (digital), CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual biopsy slides of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full medical record to the second opinion doctor. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for complete copies of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, it’s a good idea to ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor. That way, you may avoid being charged for copying costs and other fees.

How to get a second opinion

A cancer center that has a lymphoma treatment program or a hematology/oncology department has lymphoma doctors who can give you a second opinion. (For contact information for all NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, you can use our Lymphoma Specialists Referral list).

Once you have chosen your second opinion doctor, ask your current doctor to send copies of your medical records to the second opinion doctor. You can also go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Be sure to request copies of ALL of your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of your x-ray films (digital) , CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual slides with the biopsy of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full and actual medical records. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for a complete copy of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, you may be charged copying costs and other fees, unless you ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor.

It’s best to go in person to the doctor’s office for your second opinion. But if the office is too far away, you may be able to consult with the doctor by phone.

Doctors can have different opinions

There are more than 40 different types of lymphoma, and many different treatment approaches. One doctor or hospital may favor a certain approach; another doctor may have a different point of view. The choice may depend on many things: where the doctor was trained, the doctor’s experience in treating your type of lymphoma, the technology available to the doctor, whether the hospital or medical center is a research center.

Can I get a third opinion?

Yes. It may be worthwhile to get a third opinion if the first two lymphoma doctors disagree or their recommendations are not clear to you. It is important for you have confidence in the diagnosis and treatment recommendation of whoever you choose as your oncologist. Getting a third opinion is not only helpful to you and your family, but can provide valuable information to your lymphoma doctor.

Paying for a Second or Third Opinion

When making a second or third opinion appointment with a lymphoma doctor, many patients explain to the person who schedules appointments that they wish to make a “new patient office visit.” This designation helps the scheduler know that you will need extra time with the doctor. It also may help with filing your claim for health insurance coverage. Please check with Medicare or your health insurance company — or ask your second opinion doctor’s office to check for you — to verify your coverage for a new patient office visit when you call to make an appointment. Ask specifically if the doctor participates with your health insurance plan.

CONTACT US

©2017 Lymphoma Foundation of America. LymphomoHelp® All rights reserved.
help and support for lymphoma patients and familyHelp for you and
your family
Research for
the cure
Surviving Lymphoma Who we
are
You can help

help at national cancer institute

It’s never too late to get a second opinion

Need Advice?

If you are having trouble obtaining your medical records or getting a second opinion, feel free to call the Patient HelpLine of the Lymphoma Foundation of America at 1-800-385-1060. One of our nurse-counselors will help you understand the steps you need to take.

Why is it important to get a second opinion?

It is important to make sure that your cancer diagnosis is correct. An accurate diagnosis helps you and your doctor decide on the best treatments for your particular type of lymphoma. A critical part of your diagnosis is the pathology report. When you get a second opinion from a lymphoma doctor, be sure to also request a second opinion on your biopsy slides from a lymphoma pathologist.

Experts suggest that you go to a cancer specialist independent of the medical practice or medical center where you were first diagnosed. That way, the second doctor can more easily give you an impartial opinion.


Reasons to get a second opinion:

  • you want to be sure it’s cancer and not something else
  • you want to get the most accurate diagnosis possible
  • you don’t understand your diagnosis
  • you want to explore more treatments than those discussed by your doctor
  • you want to talk to someone who specializes in your subtype of lymphoma
  • you have a rare type of lymphoma or an unusual situation
  • you are not satisfied with answers about aggressive treatment vs. “watch and wait”
  • you are being treated for other major illnesses
  • you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • you want to see a doctor at a medical center that is known for lymphoma
  • you want to learn more about immunotherapy, gene therapy, and stem cell transplants at a different cancer center
  • you want to consider a clinical trial
  • you want to know about future treatment options if you choose a particular treatment now
  • you may want to find a doctor you can talk to candidly about your personal situation
  • you prefer to talk with a female or male doctor

Getting your medical records

Ask your doctor to send copies of your complete medical records to the second opinion doctor. Or go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent or given directly to you to hand carry to the second opinion doctor. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Be sure to bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Which medical records will I need?

Be sure to request copies of ALL your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of x-ray films (digital), CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual biopsy slides of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full medical record to the second opinion doctor. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for complete copies of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, it’s a good idea to ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor. That way, you may avoid being charged for copying costs and other fees.

How to get a second opinion

A cancer center that has a lymphoma treatment program or a hematology/oncology department has lymphoma doctors who can give you a second opinion. (For contact information for all NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, you can use our Lymphoma Specialists Referral list).

Once you have chosen your second opinion doctor, ask your current doctor to send copies of your medical records to the second opinion doctor. You can also go directly to the medical records department of your treatment center or doctor’s office to request that your records be sent. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing the release of your records. Bring identification with you when you sign the form.

Be sure to request copies of ALL of your lymphoma records. These include: all clinical notes, diagnostic tests and test results, copies of your x-ray films (digital) , CT scans, MRI, radiologist reports, surgical reports, and actual slides with the biopsy of your cancer cells.

It’s always best to send copies of your full and actual medical records. Sometimes doctors offer to write a “summary” of your medical history. Instead, we recommend that you ask for a complete copy of your actual medical records.

There should be no cost to you if the medical center or your doctor’s office sends your records directly to the second opinion doctor. If you receive the records yourself, you may be charged copying costs and other fees, unless you ask for permission to hand-carry the documents to your second opinion doctor.

It’s best to go in person to the doctor’s office for your second opinion. But if the office is too far away, you may be able to consult with the doctor by phone.

Doctors can have different opinions

There are more than 40 different types of lymphoma, and many different treatment approaches. One doctor or hospital may favor a certain approach; another doctor may have a different point of view. The choice may depend on many things: where the doctor was trained, the doctor’s experience in treating your type of lymphoma, the technology available to the doctor, whether the hospital or medical center is a research center.

Can I get a third opinion?

Yes. It may be worthwhile to get a third opinion if the first two lymphoma doctors disagree or their recommendations are not clear to you. It is important for you have confidence in the diagnosis and treatment recommendation of whoever you choose as your oncologist. Getting a third opinion is not only helpful to you and your family, but can provide valuable information to your lymphoma doctor.

Paying for a Second or Third Opinion

When making a second or third opinion appointment with a lymphoma doctor, many patients explain to the person who schedules appointments that they wish to make a “new patient office visit.” This designation helps the scheduler know that you will need extra time with the doctor. It also may help with filing your claim for health insurance coverage. Please check with Medicare or your health insurance company — or ask your second opinion doctor’s office to check for you — to verify your coverage for a new patient office visit when you call to make an appointment. Ask specifically if the doctor participates with your health insurance plan.