Should I get a second opinion for ovarian cancer diagnosis?

1 answer | Last updated: May 25, 2013
Maggienineteen63 asked...

I went to my gynecologist with abdominal pain and bloating and he diagnosed me as having a fibroid tumor on my left ovary and a follicle on my right. The follicle gives me discomfort and pain. Should I get a second opinion as my mother and grandmother both died from ovarian cancer in their 40's? I am 45. Also, can something be done about the discomfort I am experiencing? Should I go back to my gynecologist for help with this, or should I see an oncologist?

Expert Answers

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Yes, get a second opinion, and don't delay.  With your family's history, you'll want to be smart and act quickly.

Ask your current gynocologist for a recommendation of another gynecologist, someone outside of his/her medical practice. You won't need to see an oncologist unless you've been referred, and you won't be referred unless the second GYN is suspicious as well.

Ovarian cancer is very tricky because the symptoms can also be construed as symptoms of other maladies, and many of us women ignore pain, cramping, and bloating as normal (because many times it is!). I'm glad you got it checked when you did.

If what you are dealing with is cancerous, you'll want to know details so that you can fight it appropriately. Here are two trustworthy websites that can give you more information: and Both organizations are staffed by wonderful caring professionals that can help if you need it.

If you are not dealing with cancer but still have pain, ask your GYN about addressing the pain issues. He or she may refer you to a pain management specialist that can identify the exact source and give you options for stopping it.