Overview

The confidence you need to choose the treatment right for you

At UW Health, we know how scary a breast cancer diagnosis can be.

At UW Health, 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 UW Health 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, you send us all of your medical records. Our breast cancer team reviews all of your diagnostic tests, imaging scans, pathology reports and other medical notes.

We study all materials before your appointment. When we meet, we discuss our findings. We may recommend additional tests. Learn more about how to prepare for your appointment

We encourage you to ask any questions about:

  • Pathology reports 

  • Proposed treatment 

  • Reading of radiology images

  • 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 tests. Additional imaging or another biopsy may be needed to complete your work-up. This can help 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, you have a decision to make. If the first and second opinions about your breast cancer are the same, you can decide where you want to get treatment. If the opinions differ, you may want to seek a third opinion from another doctor. You can also ask the doctors who provided the first and second opinions to talk about the differences in their conclusions. 

Once you’ve gathered all the information you can, take time to study your options. Then 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 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 an NCI 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. This means you get the most advanced breast cancer care available.

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

Better cancer care with clinical trials and research 

Our breast cancer teams research ways to improve breast cancer prevention, treatment and quality of life. We give you the chance to take part in clinical trials and research studies. Learn more about our breast cancer research.

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
Patient and doctors reading a brochure

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 UW Health includes experts in breast cancer, medical oncology, pathology, radiology and surgery.

Locations

Breast cancer second opinion locations

We offer second opinion appointments at two UW Health Breast Center locations in Madison. 

Appointments are generally available within a week, depending on how quickly your images and other medical files are sent to us. Most health insurance companies pay for second opinions. Call your health insurance company to confirm.

To make an appointment:

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  • University Hospital - Breast Center
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 266-6400
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • 1 S. Park Clinic - Breast Center
    • 1 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 287-2050
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more

UW Carbone Cancer Center

The experts at the UW 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.

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