Tag Archive for: CLL second opinions

Reasons to Get Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Second Opinions

Reasons to Get Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Second Opinions from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Why are chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) second opinions a  good idea? Expert Dr. Ryan Jacobs shares his perspective on CLL second opinions and how they can help in patient care.

Dr. Ryan Jacobs is a hematologist/oncologist specializing in chronic lymphocytic leukemia from Levine Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Jacobs.

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Lisa Hatfield:

So say one of your patients, seeing you or seeing a hematologist, maybe a local hematologist who doesn’t see a high volume of CLL, and they ask if…what would, what do you think…or they ask of their doctor, what do you think of me getting a second opinion on my diagnosis? Because patients are scared for one thing and they want to make sure that they’re making the right decisions for themselves. How do you feel about patients seeking a second opinion?

Dr. Jacobs:

I always support it. Of course, with me, I am often the second or even higher number of opinions that has received. But I certainly, I’m not there at the biggest cancer center in the world. I trained there, but that’s not where I’m at now. So I’ve had patients that have gotten even a second or third opinion from me and then go off and get a fourth opinion at MD Anderson. So, in terms of what I want patients to understand with opinions is, one, if you get a lot of opinions, that can just make it kind of difficult. And, so I don’t know if I would really support a large number of different opinions.

I think certainly getting a second opinion is reasonable. But whenever you’re seeking another opinion, I think it really only makes sense if you’re going to a higher level of specification. So certainly it makes sense to go from a general oncologist, getting a second opinion from somebody like myself that sees a lymphoma as a specialty and does research in CLL. But if you’re already seeing a CLL specialist to then seek another one, I think it, yeah, maybe if you want to go to even a bigger cancer center or someone that has maybe published over more years, that’s fine.

But it certainly doesn’t make sense to go from one CLL specialist to somebody that is maybe even less focused in CLL. And sometimes you’d have to kind of be aware of just where you’re at. In general, the specialists are going to be at the larger cancer centers. You might find the name of a larger cancer center in a small cancer clinic. And it’s unlikely that just because the name of that well-known cancer center is on a small clinic site that you’re going to have access to a lot of specialists at that site, usually to support specialists. You’re having to be at a large, usually urban-located cancer center.

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