Thesecondopinion Celebrates 50 Years of Empowering the Cancer Community


More than 10,000 patients have benefitted from a free second opinion about their disease and treatment options

Of note during Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 35 percent were breast cancer patients

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Thesecondopinion, a nonprofit offering free multidisciplinary, comprehensive second opinions to adults diagnosed with new or recurrent cancers, is celebrating 50 years of serving the cancer community. Since 1969, the organization has served more than 10,000 patients throughout California and helped hundreds of physicians make decisions to provide the best cancer care treatment.

The need is great: studies show that as many as 60 percent of patients who have sought a second opinion received a change in their diagnosis or treatment. More than half of the patients thesecondopinion serves have a combined income of $50,000 or less; 65 percent are disabled, retired or unemployed; and 35 percent were breast cancer patients.

Addressing a big need: breast cancer patients

The availability of new diagnostic and treatment choices has actually increased the need for independent second opinions for breast cancer patients who face numerous critical and confusing decisions, including:

  • Whether to undergo lumpectomy, mastectomy, or even bilateral mastectomy
  • Whether and when to undergo reconstructive surgery
  • How to assess and manage lymph node involvement
  • Whether and when to undergo radiation treatment, hormonal and/or chemotherapy treatment
  • How to compare potential treatment benefits when considering the effects on their quality of life and the prognosis

Breast cancer patients look to thesecondopinion for hope and direction because they want to be certain not only about their diagnosis and treatment options, but also that their personal concerns about quality of life have been aired, understood and addressed.

Inspiring survivor stories fuel our mission

When Diane was diagnosed with a sub-type of early-stage triple negative breast cancer, she found it was so rare that there was little research on it, including a lack of understanding from her healthcare providers. “Thesecondopinion pathologist was able to explain that even though it wasn't pure, it had five of the six characteristics of a pure medullary tumor and therefore did not need treatment. This was very reassuring to me since I was choosing not to do chemo; the support from thesecondopinion meant a lot to me at a very difficult and uncertain time in my life.”  

What thesecondopinion offers:

  • The opportunity to have four to seven independent, board-certified cancer specialists carefully review your medical records, images and pathology reports
  • Direct in-person communication so you and your family can have all your questions answered
  • A detailed explanation of the extent of the disease and treatment options
  • Peace of mind and confidence that you are pursuing the best possible course of action
  • A patient-centered and compassionate service, regardless of income

Thesecondopinion has over 70 volunteer physicians who are at the heart of its service and mission, and contribute an average of 635 volunteer hours annually. Since its inception, the organization has recruited and provided volunteer opportunities for hundreds of physicians.

Thesecondopinion is not affiliated with any hospital or organization, but works in conjunction with physicians, nurse navigators and social workers from several medical centers and cancer support organizations, including the Women’s Cancer Resource Center, Cancer CAREpoint and Shanti Project, among others. Supporting foundations include William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Oracle, the Alberta S. Kimball – Mary L. Anhaltzer Foundation and the Bellini Foundation.

Fundraising campaign will help support future efforts

In order to maintain and build on this valued legacy, thesecondopinion is launching a year-long fundraising campaign that will help broaden its reach to rural and low-income communities, including adding additional communities in the East Bay, South Bay and Central Valley. The kick-off event is a golf fundraiser on October 8, 2019 at Richmond Country Club in Richmond, California, with all proceeds benefiting the organization.  

About thesecondopinion
Thesecondopinion is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving the California cancer community since 1969. The organization was founded by surgeon William Lester Rogers, MD, and a group of pioneering Bay Area physicians who recognized the need for multidisciplinary cancer consultations. Since its inception, thesecondopinion has provided free consultations to more than 10,000 adults in California diagnosed with new or recurring cancers. The diverse experiences in cancer diagnosis and treatment of our board-certified physicians, allow us to provide an unbiased and patient-centered service not duplicated by any other agency in California. Find out more at, connect with us on, @SecndOpinion.

CONTACT: Media Contact:
Birgit Johnston
Johnston Communications for thesecondopinion