HealthDay News — Second opinions have little impact on prostate cancer patients’ treatment decisions, according to findings published online Nov 7 in Cancer.

The study included 2,386 men in the Philadelphia area recently diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. 40% of the men obtained a second opinion from urologists, most often because they wanted more information about their cancer (50.8%) or wanted to be seen by the best doctor (46.3%).

Overall, obtaining second opinions was not associated with changes in treatment choice or with improvements in how patients viewed their quality of cancer care. The researchers also found that patients who obtained second opinions because they wanted more information, were seeking the best doctor, or had been encouraged to do so by family or friends were more likely to undergo surgery.

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This suggests that for some men, second opinions offer a way to pursue the treatment they already planned on, rather than to explore other treatment options, the study authors said in a journal news release.

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  1. Radhakrishnan A, Grande D, Mitra N, et al. Second opinions from urologists for prostate cancer: Who gets them, why, and their link to treatment. Cancer. 7 November 2016. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30412