Treatment decisions are based on the pathology diagnosis. Decisions regarding the need for sentinel lymph node biopsy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy are all based on the pathology diagnosis. See below to learn what the experts say about getting a second pathology opinion.
"An accurate diagnosis leads to the best treatment possible. Therefore, the skill of your pathologist is important. You want to make sure your tissue sample is handled properly and diagnosed correctly. One way to do this is to ask your provider about the experience of the pathologist and the pathology laboratory prior to the biopsy. Second opinions can be useful in getting the most accurate diagnosis possible." -Susan G. Komen for the Cure
"if you or your doctors have any concerns about your pathology diagnosis, you can have your microscope slides reviewed by a consulting pathologist for a second opinion. Your...surgeon...can often suggest a consultant with special qualifications...." -American Cancer Society
"There's growing evidence to support asking for a second opinion..when cancer is...diagnosed....If decisions about chemotherapy or surgery are based solely on the details of the lab results, it is usually a good idea to get a second pathology opinion." -Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2001
"Second opinions are very valuable. And probably, the most important second opinion you can get is a pathologist's second opinion. You need to take your microscopic slides and show those to another pathologist who is a breast pathologist or who looks at a great deal of breast pathology. Because you could see ten surgeons, and if all they have is the pathology report, they are all reacting to a single report. What if that report is wrong? And we have certainly seen one pathologist change the reading from another pathologist. So I think the most important second opinion might be the pathology report." -Melvin Silverstein, MD, Medical Director, Harold E. and Henrietta C. Lee Breast Center, USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, ABC NEWS interview, September 24, 2007