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Oral Cancer: Getting a Second Opinion

Before starting oral cancer treatment, patients may want to have a second doctor review their diagnosis and treatment options.

There are a number of ways to find a doctor who can give a second opinion:

  • The patient’s doctor may be able to recommend specialists. Doctors who treat oral cancer include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and ear, nose, and throat doctors. Sometimes these doctors work together at hospitals or special cancer centers.

  • The NCI Cancer Information Service can give patients information on nearby treatment facilities. Dial 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or http://www.cancer.gov/help for help finding nearby treatment centers. Other sources can be found in the NCI fact sheet How to Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/doctor-facility).

  • The Official American Board of Medical Specialties Dictionary of Medical Specialists lists doctors by state and specialty. This reference book also describes doctors’ background and training. It can be found in most public libraries. The American Board of Medical Specialties Web site can be accessed at http://www.abms.org/ for publications relating to board certification and specialty medicine and the ABMS Guide to Physician Specialties, Certification Statistics and Annual Review.

Patients can also get the names of doctors from local or state medical and dental societies. They might also ask a nearby hospital.

“What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer.” National Cancer Institute, December 23, 2009. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/oral Accessed 2013.

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