Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. You may be feeling a range of emotions, from shock and disbelief to fear and anxiety. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel more confident about the decisions you make regarding your breast cancer treatment.
An Overview of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. It’s the second-most common type of cancer in women, after skin cancer. Among women ages 35–54, it’s the leading cause of cancer death, making detection and treatment critical.
Breast cancer symptoms can vary depending on the type of breast cancer you have. They may include a breast lump, breast pain, nipple discharge, or changes in breast appearance. Left untreated, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, bones, liver, or lungs.
There are several different types of breast cancer, including but not limited to:
- Invasive ductal carcinoma. This is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for about 80% of breast cancer cases. It begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the surrounding breast tissue.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma. This type of breast cancer accounts for about 10% of breast cancer cases. It begins in the milk-producing glands and can spread to other parts of the breast.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This is a non-invasive breast cancer. It means the cancer cells are present in the milk ducts but have not spread to the surrounding breast tissue.
- Triple-negative breast cancer. This breast cancer does not respond to hormone therapy or drugs that target HER2 receptors. It accounts for about 15% of breast cancer cases.
The Importance of a Second Opinion
Treatment for breast cancer often involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy. These treatments can have serious side effects, which is one reason why getting a second opinion is so important. A second opinion can give you more information about your breast cancer and help you feel more confident about the decisions you make regarding your treatment.
A second opinion can also be important for financial reasons. Treatment for breast cancer can be expensive, and following a course of treatment that is not right for you can waste valuable time and money.
Finally, a second opinion can provide peace of mind. After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, you may be feeling anxious and uncertain. A second opinion can help to put your mind at ease as you move forward with treatment.
What to Expect When Getting a Breast Cancer Second Opinion
The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic offers breast cancer patients the opportunity to get a second opinion without having to leave their homes. We connect each patient with a Cleveland Clinic specialist who has expertise in their specific type of breast cancer. The live video consultation with the expert physician includes a review of the patient’s medical records and recommendations for the next steps in their treatment.
No travel time or associated costs, no red tape, no hassles—just a breast cancer second opinion from one of the world’s leading health systems.
Get a Second Opinion on Breast Cancer from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic
It’s easier than ever to get a breast cancer second opinion from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic. Just register online today to connect with a Nurse Care Manager who will coordinate your case and set you on the path to peace of mind.