Cancer Facts: The Importance of A Second Medical Opinion
Many of us are not too familiar about medical terms, or procedures till we are afflicted with sickness. That is exactly how it was for me, but I’ve been told many times by my fiancé, and his parents to always seek a second opinion especially when it comes to something as big as a 5-6 hour surgery, and removing a huge part of your colon.
I was blessed to have such knowledge, and seeking a second opinion actually help alleviate my fears quite a fair bit, as the second surgeon I met told me the same thing in terms of diagnosis, and treatment. Plus, he told me the surgeon which will operate me is one of the best, and he even sent his own cousin to him. That was such a relief!
Now, what about people who are not familiar to the disease and end-up trusting the first doctor they meet? An example I encountered was a friend’s wife who contacted me about her diagnosis. I told her to seek a second opinion as the first doctor’s diagnosis didn’t seem quite right. He told her to operate immediately as she had stage 4 cancer, and that there was a tumor in her stomach without doing a scan himself. I was pretty shocked and immediately recommended my surgeon to her. Thank goodness she went to see my surgeon, as after doing the scans, they found out that it was water nodules in her stomach left from her appendix surgery.
Another horror story I heard from a supporter is that she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, and the doctor told the poor 23 year old that she needed to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life, and the chemotherapy may result in her not being able to give birth. That clearly frightened the girl, and she didn’t do anything for 6 months after, making the cancer spread even further. It was by chance that her sister saw my post, and contacted me, and I recommended her to my oncologist and surgeon who managed to helped her.
Can you imagine the consequences of such a severe diagnosis if she had followed her first doctor’s diagnosis? There are many other horror stories around that have been told to me, messaged to me, emailed to me, and I will always try my best to help these people who contact me, and who don’t know much about medical procedures. All I can do is to help by referring and encouraging a second opinion, but a lot of awareness is needed to continue to raise not just cancer awareness, and it’s treatments to a higher level in Malaysia, but also other illnesses.
The first step to being a part of this awareness, and sharing this article, and the videos, as it is RM1 to the national cancer society of Malaysia for their cancer information system. The cancer information system serves as a call service for anyone to contact, if they have questions about medical treatment, diet, doctors,etc!