Discrepancy between second and first opinion in surgical oncological patients
European Journal of Surgical Oncology , Volume 32 - Issue 1 p. 108- 112
Purpose: To prospectively describe in a population of oncological second opinion patients: (1) the outcome of routine revisions of histopathological and radiological material, (2) the frequency and extent of discrepancy between the second and first opinion and (3) the location of further treatment or follow-up. Patients and methods: In a population of 466 consecutive patients seeking a second opinion at the Surgical Oncology Outpatient Clinic, demographic and clinical patient characteristics were registered prospectively, as were the results of routine revision of histopathological and radiological material and the location of further treatment or follow-up. A classification system was developed to categorize the differences between the second and first opinion. Results: The mean age of the 403 eligible patients was 52 years. Most patients (87%) were women, of whom 83% were diagnosed with breast cancer. Revision of histopathological and radiological material was performed in 80 and 61% of the cases, respectively, and resulted in a major change in treatment or prognosis in 3 and 2% of patients, respectively. In 317 patients (79%), the second opinion could be compared with the first opinion, resulting in an identical advise in 68%, a minor discrepancy in 16% and a major discrepancy in another 16% of patients. For further treatment 78% of patients were referred back to their first specialist. Conclusion: One third of patient-initiated second opinion consultations resulted in a discrepancy with the first opinion. Half of these different advise lead to major changes in therapy or prognosis.