The confidence you need to choose the treatment right for you

At the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center, we know how scary a breast cancer diagnosis can be. We want you to feel comfortable about your diagnosis and find the best therapy for you. Through a second opinion, you may also learn about new treatment options and find new hope. 

Second opinion process

What to expect during the second opinion process

When you come to the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center for a second opinion, we evaluate every aspect of your diagnosis and treatment options. You also have the option of scheduling your second opinion visit by video if that is more convenient.

Before your appointment, we will have you give us permission to obtain your medical records. Our breast cancer team will then review all of your imaging studies, pathology reports and other medical notes. Learn how to prepare for your appointment

When we meet, we will discuss our findings. We may recommend additional tests. We encourage you to ask any questions about:

  • Pathology reports

  • Proposed treatment

  • Breast imaging studies

  • Your diagnosis

Exploring your diagnosis and treatment options

You want to find the right cancer treatment for you. A second opinion lets you make the best decisions about your care. Here are some examples of how a second opinion can help:

  • A radiologist reviews your breast imaging studies. Additional imaging or another biopsy may be recommended. This can help you and other breast specialists plan your treatment options.

  • A medical oncologist reviews your treatment plan. The doctor may provide other options or access to clinical trials.

  • A pathologist looks at your tissue. This review may change your treatment plans based on your type of breast cancer.

  • A radiation oncologist studies your treatment plan. The doctor may give you faster or more targeted treatment options.

  • A surgeon studies your diagnosis. The surgeon may provide options outside of standard surgery. Another approach is chemotherapy before surgery. The surgeon may offer reconstructive surgery at the same time as the breast cancer surgery.

Choosing your treatment plan

After you receive your second opinion and discuss it with our breast cancer team, they will assist you in planning the next steps in your care.

Take time to study your options so you can feel confident in making your choice for treatment.

Programs and research

Why choose UW Health?

The UW Health Breast Center is part of the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center. The National Cancer Institute recognizes our cancer center for providing high-quality care and advanced research. Only the top academic medical cancer centers receive a National Cancer Institute designation. 

The Carbone Cancer Center also is part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This group of leading cancer centers collaborates on best practices in education, patient care and research.

In addition, the UW Health Breast Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. This is a group of professional organizations focused on improving quality outcomes of patients with breast cancer.

Better cancer care with clinical trials and research 

Our breast cancer providers study how to improve breast cancer prevention, treatment, and quality of life. We give you the chance to take part in clinical trials and research studies, which is entirely up to you Learn more about our breast cancer research programs

Patient resources

Information for you

Our breast cancer doctors talk about the value of second opinions for breast cancer patients.

Pathologist Josephine Harter
Radiation oncologist Dr. Bethany Anderson
Surgeon Dr. Lee Gravatt Wilke
Jane DeShaw reading a pamphlet next to two doctors in front of a UW Carbon Cancer Center sign

If I could tell another woman what I learned, I would tell her not to be afraid to get a second opinion right away.

Jane DeShaw

Meet our team

Breast cancer experts by your side

The breast cancer second opinion team at the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center includes experts in breast cancer, medical oncology, pathology, radiology and surgery.

Patient stories

Real life inspiration

Nancy Wallace smiling outside
Nancy Wallace
Outstanding care turned Nancy’s life around after breast cancer diagnosis

Nancy Wallace says the breast cancer treatment she received from experts at UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill., "gave me back my life and my body."

Melissa Stucky smiling.
Melissa Stucky
Seeking a second opinion paid off for Melissa

In 2018, Melissa Stucky of Rockton, Ill., was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34 after finding a lump on her right side. Married with a 2-year-old daughter at home and her career as an elementary school speech and language pathologist on pause because of her compromised immune system, Melissa’s cancer fight soon extended to her health insurance provider.


Breast cancer second opinion locations

We offer second opinion appointments at two UW Health Breast Center locations in Madison, Wisconsin and at UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center Rockford.

Appointments are generally available within a week; however, it depends on how quickly your images and other medical files are sent to us. Once your images, pathology and files are obtained, time is needed to review so that we can be prepared for your appointment. Most health insurance companies pay for second opinions. Call your health insurance company to confirm.

To make an appointment:

UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center

The experts at the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center intimately understand every type of cancer. We will get to know you and design a treatment plan that works for you and your family.

Learn more