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Second Opinions Save Lives

Originally published on Cholangiocarcinoma Australia blog

So what is a second opinion?

An opinion of a doctor other than the patient’s current doctor. The second doctor reviews the patient’s medical records and gives an opinion about the patient’s health problem and how it should be treated.

Doctors are human

People make mistakes every day, and doctors are not immune to this fact. What’s more, some doctors are more conservative while others tend to be more aggressive. So their findings and recommendations can vary dramatically. For this reason, more and more patients are getting second opinions after a diagnosis. Whether your doctor recommends surgery, makes a cancer diagnosis, or identifies a rare disease, there are many benefits to getting a second opinion. These benefits include everything from peace of mind and confirmation to a new diagnosis or a different treatment plan.

Good Practitioners encourage this

Many people do this, and most doctors are comfortable with it. You can get a second (or third, or more) opinion for any reason. Some reasons people have given are: You want to know every possible choice for treatment.

View the following video as a great example. Video compiled by

For Patients diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile Duct Cancer) the status quo is not acceptable

With CCA the experts have to look closer.

With cancer in his bile duct, Michael Lax sought a second opinion at UCSF after his previous doctors deemed his case inoperable. After undergoing surgery at UCSF, Lax is now cancer free.

Mike Shane

Michelle Trachtman, Executive Director of Mike Shane Memorial Fund, and Cecilia Monge Bonilla from NCI/NIH will share updates and answer questions.

“The first diagnosis isn’t always correct or complete. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, 88% of original diagnoses were changed or refined by a second opinion. A second opinion can provide alternative options, which can benefit the patient physically, emotionally and financially. Even just a confirmation of a diagnosis can provide peace of mind. Everyone deserves that.

“Mike Shane Memorial Fund (MSMF) a nonprofit fund that provides grants to patients with cholangiocarcinoma for remote second opinions.

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