Seeking a Second Opinion
In the United Kingdom, you have the right to a second opinion for your diagnosis and treatment plan for any health condition, including a high grade Brain Tumour. This can be arranged by your GP or Consultant, who would normally co-operate with you. The neurosurgery offered or therapy treatment recommended will normally be the optimum available at your own neuroscience centre and oncology centre, taking into account your individual circumstances. Some people will feel this is absolutely necessary to seek a second opinion as they want to try 'any option available', particularly if your first Neurosurgeon is not recommending a procedure or your NeuroOncologist is not offering treatment options.
While there may be slight differences to surgical and therapy regimes around the UK, most neuroscience centres offer the best that is available treatments. However, you can ask your Consultants if there are any alternatives available elsewhere in the UK. You can ask for a second opinion within your current hospital and/or to another neuroscience or oncology hospital in the UK. In certain circumstances, treatment may be accessed in other European Union countries (if available). Great care should be taken when considering accessing health care beyond the UK, especially where health service provision is different such as the USA.
In considering whether to seek a second opinion, you would need to take into account a wide number of issues. These include:-
- the physical health of the person with the high grade brain tumour
- the ability to travel safely; can you travel alone or is company required
- would you need to stay overnight
- what will be achieved by seeking a second opinion
* different treatment?
* more successful surgery?
* Peace of mind?
- need for urgency in surgical or therapeutic treatment
- any effect on length and Quality of life
There are costs to you associated with these options, directly and indirectly, for example, if a family member has to take time off work.
The initial diagnosis and treatment of a high grade Glioma is extremely efficient and quickly acted upon once it is suspected or known. The vast majority of high grade gliomas will be discovered as a result of a symptom or two occuring out of the blue, demonstrating the rapid growth of Cancer cells within the brain. From the scan which reveals the brain tumour to surgical intervention (if any) will be a matter of days and there is little scope for private treatment. Use of Medical Insurance or payment may be possible for some aspects of rehabilitation and you may ask your Consultant Neurosurgeon about this.
Similarly, accessing the necessary Radiotherapy/ Chemotherapy regimes that are available and appropriate to the individual is normally undertaken quickly and treatment started 2 or 3 weeks after referral to neuro-oncology services. However, you can ask your Consultant NeuroOncologist if there is any scope for private treatment.
You can find a specialist within the Neurological field in your area by visiting the following link http://www.specialistinfo.com/ which provides a list of all Consultants in the UK.
BT Buddies would like to thank Tony Murphy for his help with this article.This page was last modified on 4th April 2009 at 22:25