Cancer is a frightening diagnosis, and the recommended choices for treatment may be complex and difficult for a patient to evaluate.
Our multidisciplinary care is coordinated through our centrally located hub in Lebanon, NH as well as our four regional locations (Manchester, Nashua, and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT) and affiliated hospitals throughout NH and VT. This enables us to provide you the best possible care in the most convenient location for you, close to home.
To get a second opinion from a physician at Dartmouth Cancer Center
Call the Cancer Help Line
Toll-Free: (800) 639-6918
Or, contact the regional center most convenient for you
Or, contact a cancer care program directly
See a list of cancer care programs
More information about second opinions
You are entitled to a complete explanation of any diagnosis or proposed therapy. You, and only you, can weigh your options and make a choice among alternatives for treatment. Many times the best course is to find a second opinion, and many patients seem relieved to learn that this is an accepted practice. In most cases, your physician will encourage you to learn as much as you can about your disease.
Working with your physician
Whether you received your initial opinion here or at another institution, the staff at Dartmouth Cancer Center is committed to providing second opinions as requested. In every case, the Cancer Center will work with your own physician to ensure you receive the best possible medical advice.
Kinds of second opinions
At Dartmouth Cancer Center, you may obtain a second opinion from an individual specialist or from a group of professionals that will include experts in diagnosing and treating the kind of cancer you have. You may also wish to obtain a second opinion on your pathology report. This is the report on which your first-opinion physician-based recommendations for your care.
It is your responsibility to forward all your medical records, tests, and x-rays from your first opinion to the second opinion physician or group. Please be certain these records are received by the physician well in advance of your appointment, so he or she has time to review them. This will save time, and prevent duplication of tests with additional costs.
How to use the second opinion
If the first opinion is confirmed by the second opinion, you can be confident that the recommended diagnosis and treatment are appropriate for your condition. If the two opinions differ, it is important to seek full explanations of the opinions given. Your primary care physician can help you decide upon the best course of action after considering the conflicting recommendations.
As the patient facing a serious medical problem, you have to make decisions about accepting or refusing recommended treatments. It is important for you to feel confident about the information you use to make decisions. A second opinion can help increase your confidence about the choices you make.
Many insurers require advance notice of second opinions in order to trigger reimbursement. Please check the requirements in your own policy.