Virtual or face-to-face appointments for a second opinion on your treatment for cancer

Clinical Expertise

Dr James Wilson is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at University College London Hospital and is an Honorary Associate Professor at UCL. He received clinical and academic training at some of the world's most prestigious cancer centres. His DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford focussed on the ways in which cancer imaging can be used to personalise chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for patients and how new drugs can be combined with radiotherapy to improve outcomes. James completed his training at the Royal Marsden Hospital as a NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Cancer Research before taking up a consultant post in one of London's most famous teaching hospitals.

He sees patients at The London Clinic, The Harley Street Clinic, HCA at UCH, LOC (Leaders in Oncology Care) and Proton International London.

What is a second opinion?

A second opinion is simply consulting another doctor or specialist to gain additional insights into your diagnosis and treatment options. It doesn't have to mean you're doubting your current doctor's competence; rather, you're using all available resources to make the most informed decision about your health. 

I often speak with patients, to review the investigations they’ve had to date, a diagnosis they’ve been given or a treatment they’ve been recommended. It’s not unusual for patients to ask for this themselves, or for colleagues to refer to me to ask for my thoughts in complex situations.

Asking for a second opinion is a very straightforward, and common occurrence. Nobody will be offended if you request a referral to speak with me or if you approach me directly. Together we will review your results and treatment plan.

What is the value of a second opinion?

Following a diagnosis of cancer, you need to feel you have all of the information to make a positive decision about your treatment and the care you will receive. After I have reviewed all your diagnostic investigations, we will meet to discuss your test results and treatment options. Following this second opinion, you should have:


The full picture:

A comprehensive understanding of your diagnosis and options. A second opinion can provide new perspectives or treatment options that may not have previously been considered

Confidence in your health decisions:

With more information comes greater confidence. Knowing that you have explored all your options can give you peace of mind that you're making the best decision for your health

Explored all alternative treatments:

A second opinion might reveal an adapted treatment path, more suited to the specificities of your unique condition. This alternative may not have been considered before, or may not have been available at other locations 

Thankfully, more often than not, my role in a second opinion is to provide additional information about a diagnosis or treatment, rather than offer a vastly different diagnosis or therapy option.

How to get the most out of your second opinion appointment

1.  Think about, and make notes on, the questions you might have and your reasons for seeking out a second opinion. Some people don’t have any questions or concerns, but would just value some time to review what has happened so far with a cancer specialist

2.  Gather your medical records: try to pull together as much as you can - letters, test results (scan reports, biopsy results). The more information I have about you before we meet, the more helpful the consultation will be

3.  Speak with your current medical team: This is by no means essential, but your doctor or clinical nurse specialist is an excellent resource when seeking a second opinion. They can assist you in understanding which questions to ask

4.  Consider who you might want to accompany you to your appointment. While you might prefer to come alone, having another person with you can often be beneficial - they can listen to the information alongside you and assist in reflecting on it afterwards

Are there any disadvantages?

Seeking a second opinion on cancer treatment may make you concerned about delays or the possibility of receiving conflicting advice. It’s important to view these concerns as steps towards a fully informed health decision rather than drawbacks. 

My commitment to you is to conduct the review of your results and treatment plan efficiently and thoroughly, doing all I can to minimise delays. I will discuss complex decisions within a multidisciplinary meeting at a leading London cancer centre, keeping in mind a commitment to help you make a treatment decision without unnecessary hold ups. While you may worry that hearing a different perspective may confuse you, it will contribute to a deeper understanding of your treatment choices – allowing you to make the best decision for you, informed by information given to you from a specialist, tailored to a way that you can understand.

You are in control

Remember, your health and well-being are of utmost importance. Contacting me for a second opinion is a proactive step in taking control of your healthcare journey. It shows a commitment to making informed decisions about, and taking control of, your health care.

Where can I be seen for a second opinion?

As well as offering face-to-face consultations for a second opinion at any of the private hospitals listed on the ‘Locations’ page, I can also offer virtual consultations if that is what you’d prefer.


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Schedule Your Consultation Today

Ready to take the next step in your cancer care? Dr James Wilson specialises in innovative treatments for lung and skin cancer, providing personalised and compassionate care. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and start your journey towards recovery.