A patient is always entitled to a second opinion. Second opinions are best used to gather information to confirm the first doctor's analysis and to help find a doctor with whom a patient is comfortable. Doctors should not feel threatened by a patient seeking a second opinion; the patient has the most at stake and should be part of the decision-making team along with the doctor. Do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
About two years after I finished chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to treat inflammatory breast cancer, I started having trouble with shortness of breath. Horrible coughing fits shook my body. When I couldn't breathe, I could feel my heart rate increase. The first thing my doctor did was to check me out to make sure the cancer had…