Cancer: Should one have a second opinion?

Cancer: Should one have a second opinion?

A second opinion (Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Cancer missed!

“The GP doctor said that my bleeding per rectum is due to haemorrhoid or piles. So I was treated with piles medications for six months before I was diagnosed as having cancer rectum…” Piles are so common, this patient did not doubt the GP and did not seek a second opinion until much later.

It is ironic that lady A went around teaching others how to perform the breast self-exams. But her own breast lump was misdiagnosed as mastitis as she was breast feeding her child. During a second opinion the doctor diagnosed her with incurable breast cancer. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy surgery to remove both breasts. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


No cancer, but operated!

Another lady underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery. Later it was found out to be an incorrectly reported biopsy result. And she did not have cancer!


That is why, I always stressed to nurses that they are not to break the news of cancer. It is the duty of the relevant doctor with his clinical findings and the biopsy result in hand.

Even with that, the best doctors can still make mistakes. Should one seek a second opinion?

Has Artificial Intelligence (AI) a place in complementing medical diagnosis?


Published by Chen Song Ping @ TPTan

Chen S.P. enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer.

12 thoughts on “Cancer: Should one have a second opinion?

  1. Second opinions are essential, And one has to find a doctor with no financial ties to the first doc so that the second opinion is truly independent. We simply have too many mistakes made in the US, when doctors elsewhere would lose their license for the same errors.

    Liked by 2 people

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