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Our Brain Tumour Information Pack can help you better understand your diagnosis and feel confident talking to your medical team.
If you ask for a second opinion, very few healthcare professionals will refuse to refer you for one.
Although you don’t have a legal right to a second opinion, you do have the right to ask for a second opinion without fear of reprisal or questioning. In England this right is guaranteed by the NHS Constitution. The right also exists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In our experience dealing with people affected by a brain tumour, healthcare professionals are very open to allowing second opinions, recognising the sensitive nature of the diagnosis and subsequent treatment and its impact. You should always feel able to approach your healthcare team, either your GP or your specialist, to discuss a second opinion.
You might consider asking for a second opinion on your treatment and care if:
In preparing for your surgery, you may wish to know more about who you’re being seen by or seek a second opinion. The NHS website has information about consultants specialising in neurosurgery in England, along with some data about their neurosurgical outcomes.
When looking at this information, it’s important to remember that statistics aren’t always able to show other factors that may affect the outcomes. For example, some surgeons may have lower survival rates because they’re willing to take on more complex cases.
If you’ve ever wanted to see how many brain tumour surgeries your hospital carries out each year, have a look at the Surgeries per Hospital insight in BRIAN. You can filter the results by year, age and type of surgery.
BRIAN is our trusted online app where you can track your experience, compare it with others who’ve been there and get the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
You can book an appointment with a different GP within the same surgery. If you don’t have more than one GP at your surgery, you can register at a new surgery.
You should speak to your GP. They’re able to refer you to another specialist, either on the NHS or privately.
The specialist will be told it’s for a second opinion, and they’ll be sent any relevant test results and scans you’ve already had. This doesn’t mean they’ll automatically take over your care. If you wish to be treated by the new consultant, arrangements will need to be made with the doctors and hospital.
Alternatively, you can discuss having a second opinion with your current hospital specialist or consultant.
A relative or carer is also entitled to ask for a second opinion on your behalf, with your consent.
Trustedoctor is an online second-opinion platform you can use to access specialists across the world. The cost involved with this very much depends on the specialist.
It’s important to remember that getting a second opinion might postpone treatment. Check with your doctor whether postponing any treatment could cause harm.
Getting a second opinion can delay your treatment because:
When you go for your second opinion, it can help to be prepared.
You might also be interested in our trusted online app, BRIAN. BRIAN allows you to record your entire brain tumour experience in one place, including symptoms, treatments and side-effects, which you can use to help your discussions with healthcare professionals.
"It's important that you don't have any major outstanding worries about whether you are going down the right path with your treatment or not. Getting a second opinion gave me piece of mind and now I feel confident with where I am heading."
"We got a second opinion and it was the best decision that we made. It doesn't hurt to get another consultant's view on things and most of them don't mind."
"My second opinion was definitely worth it! The second consultant disagreed with the first and felt my tumour was operable and that this would be in my best interest due to it's location. Relieved isn't the word!"
"I saw getting a second opinion as a chance to get the breadth of knowledge and expertise from multiple people. I didn't distrust my first consultant, but welcomed guidance from more than one team to help decide on the best management of my tumour."
By joining one of our our Online Support Communities, you can get more tips about living with or beyond a brain tumour diagnosis from people who truly understand what you're going through.
If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
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