HealthDay News — Almost 43% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer presenting to a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center for a second opinion have a change in diagnosis, according to a study published in the October issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
Denise Garcia, MD, from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving patients with a breast cancer diagnosis who presented for a second opinion to the NCI-designated cancer center at the Medical University of South Carolina. Reports generated after a multidisciplinary tumor board (MTB) review and subsequent workup were compared to radiology, pathology, and genetic testing results from outside institutions. Data were included for 70 patients seeking second opinions; 47.1% had additional radiological images.
The researchers found that 30 additional biopsies were performed in 25 patients; in 16 patients, new cancers were identified. Additional cancers were diagnosed in 22.8 % of the 70 patients. A second opinion led to a change in pathology interpretation for 20% of the 70 patients. Eleven patients underwent genetic testing; none had a mutation other than a variant of unknown significance. As a result of the MTB review, 42.8% of the 70 patients had a change in diagnosis after a complete workup.
“The study findings support the conclusion that referral for a second opinion is beneficial and has a diagnostic impact for many patients,” the authors write.