Screenings and Second Opinions for a Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Screenings and Second Opinions for a Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

dr arvind kumar

Most people treat the word “cancer” as a death omen, thinking it’s the end of life as they know it(for good reasons). Getting a lung cancer diagnosis can be terrifying and might invade your mind with several questions.

“What type of lung cancer do I have?”, “How long will I live?”, etc., are recurring questions that might be left answered after your initial diagnosis. Given how serious the condition is, a second opinion is always encouraged.

It allows you to affirm the diagnosis you have already gotten or get a rework on what’s already diagnosed to make sure nothing was missed the first time. Either way, if you want to confirm your lung cancer diagnosis and get a second opinion, our experienced team of doctors at Medanta can help you figure things out.

Can Lung Cancer be Misdiagnosed?

Surprisingly, yes.

Getting a misdiagnosis of lung cancer is much more common than you realize. Even a 2017 study reports significant errors during the testing that might lead to a misdiagnosis of lung cancer.

Does that mean every lung cancer diagnosis can be wrong? Absolutely not.

But there are situations wherein your symptoms might lead to a misdiagnosis of lung cancer instead of something more treatable, like asthma, allergies, heart diseases, and bronchitis.

Hence, getting a second opinion is always ideal for lung cancer detection and ensuring that you get quick and tailored treatment to combat the issues your body is fighting.

When is the Right Time to Opt for a Second Opinion for a Lung Cancer Diagnosis?

Processing a lung cancer diagnosis can be hard on a patient and their family, both emotionally and mentally. But that’s where you need to be practical about the situation and opt for further screening or a second opinion that might help you overcome the associated complications.

Even if a second opinion confirms your previous diagnosis, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have a more solid confirmation of your diagnosis before you get on a strict treatment regime.

Some of the most potential reasons why you should consider a second opinion for a lung cancer diagnosis are:

Lack of prior genomic testing

If your first diagnosis didn’t include genomic testing, you might want to consider a second opinion to get genomic testing done. Sometimes, genetic mutations and anomalies can be treated with targeted drug therapy, a much less aggressive form of treatment than radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Undergoing genomic testing also opens up many options for clinical trials, which can ensure better long-term prognosis and quality of life than other treatment options.

Opt for clinical trials

If your life expectancy after a lung cancer diagnosis isn’t looking that great due to the cancer being in advanced stages, being on clinical trials might be your best bet. In such cases, your initial treatment might not be enough.

With the rapid advancements in medicine, more and more clinical trials are ongoing that allow you to improve your quality of life and give you a better chance at fighting the disease.

Get peace of mind

Suddenly accepting a lung cancer diagnosis is never easy on a patient. And, as human beings, the only way we can appease our minds is by getting a second opinion.

Given how sensitive a lung cancer diagnosis is, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion to help you figure out what’s wrong and get a more in-depth understanding of one’s health and well-being.

At Medanta, we often have patients with an early diagnosis of lung cancer who want a better outlook on their diagnosis and to understand the logistics of their condition more profoundly.

Not satisfied with the current treatment plan

There are situations wherein you might not feel your best under the care of the doctor you are in. It’s normal and not something you should ever be ashamed of. If you aren’t satisfied with the doctor’s treatment route and want to explore a different approach to a lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, a second opinion might help.

It is true that a lung cancer diagnosis can be hard (and it might be terminal). But, if your doctor constantly makes you feel more depressed about the situation, you might want to opt for a second opinion with another doctor with a more uplifting approach to the treatment.

How Should you Prepare for a Second Opinion for Lung Cancer Diagnosis?

Nine out of ten times, you seek a second opinion for a lung cancer diagnosis because you want more clarity about the situation.

You aren’t the only person with a similar thought process. Getting a second opinion gives you a buffer time to process your initial diagnosis and better understand the situation before you can go ahead and start your treatment.

Lung cancer patients even opt for a second opinion in the middle of the treatment. Whatever the situation is, we highly recommend that you stay prepared with your list of queries during the second opinion appointment.

Some of the common queries you might need to ask during the second opinion, and further screening for a lung cancer diagnosis are:

  • What type of lung cancer do I have?
  • What is the prognosis of my lung cancer?
  • Is my lung cancer at a curable stage?
  • Can I opt for alternative treatment options besides radiotherapy and chemotherapy?
  • Are there any clinical trials that I could qualify for?

A second opinion is great for the diagnostic evaluation of lung cancer and gives you a more in-depth understanding of the stage of your lung disease and the prognosis.

Getting a second opinion from a more qualified and experienced doctor allows you to garner better and more in-depth information about the disease and even have a clearer perspective about the potential treatment options you can take up for the condition.

Remember that whether or not you get a second opinion for your lung cancer treatment is entirely on you. It's your decision and depends on multiple variables, including the kind of treatment and care you want for the condition. Prioritize what you feel instead of feeling guilty about asking for a second opinion – asking for “more.”

Why Choose Medanta and Dr. Arvind Kumar for your Second Opinion on Lung Cancer Diagnosis?

Suppose you are feeling overwhelmed after your initial lung cancer diagnosis. In that case, we’d recommend you take a day or two to process the emotions before proceeding for a second opinion.

At Medanta, Dr. Arvind Kumar heads the Chest Onco Surgery and Lung Transplantation department. With 40+ years of experience, Dr. Kumar is a pioneer in this field of medicine and has been a beacon of hope for thousands of patients in Mumbai and pan India (and internationally).

If you are considering a second opinion for your lung cancer diagnosis, here’s why Medanta stands out as an ideal choice:

  • It boasts a team of leading, board-certified doctors and surgeons with years of hands-on experience.
  • It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and the latest equipment for a more refined diagnosis and treatment route.
  • It is backed by an empathetic staff who are here to support you through such a rough and testing phase in life.

Overall, a second opinion at Medanta will give you better peace of mind and a clearer understanding of the diagnosis to make confident decisions in your treatment plan.

FAQs

One of the most common misdiagnosis of lung cancer is a lung nodule (or mass), which is generally benign and nothing to be worried about. It looks similar to a cancerous mass in a CT scan and thus can lead to a misdiagnosis.

Tuberculosis patch can also be misdiagnosed as Lung Cancer and vice versa.

Lung cancer diagnosis by age relies heavily on imaging techniques, and a low-dose computed tomography is considered the best option.
If you aren’t comfortable with the initial diagnosis or the treatment route, there’s nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion from other doctors with a better experience.