Cancer Center

Pediatric Cancer Second Opinions at CHOP

Receiving a cancer diagnosis for your child can be devastating but, armed with information, you can take the first important steps toward finding the right care for your child.

Here is some information about the types of second opinions we offer and how to request one.

The Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is available to consult with you or your physician on pediatric cancer second opinion requests. We work with both families and pediatric specialists from all over the country and around the world to confirm diagnoses or to provide second opinions. Also, our specialists have a long-history of experience treating a wide variety of unusual cancers.

The following questions will help you decide whether to request a second opinion and will show you how to prepare for one. We also recommend watching our second opinion overview video to learn more about getting a second opinion at CHOP.

Should I get a pediatric cancer second opinion for my child?

When your child has been diagnosed with cancer, a second opinion will give you the information you need to make an informed and educated decision about your child’s treatment. A second opinion can also provide reassurance as you make decisions about your child's care. Families often seek second opinions for a variety of reasons, including:

Feeling uncomfortable with your child’s diagnosis or needing confirmation

When your child is diagnosed with cancer, you experience many feelings, including the desire to begin treatment as soon as possible. After allowing yourself a few days to come to terms with your child's diagnosis, you may find that getting a second opinion can clear up any doubts you may have or can provide you with the confirmation you need to proceed with treatment. 

Seeking the medical opinion of a pediatric specialist with experience treating a child’s specific type of cancer

While your child’s pediatric oncologist may have treated the type of cancer your child has, he or she may wish to obtain a second opinion from a pediatric oncologist who is highly experienced in working directly with a particular type of cancer. CHOP specialists may be aware of other new treatment methods or clinical trials and can make that known during a second opinion.

When should I get a pediatric cancer second opinion?

The best time to get a second opinion is before your child starts therapy or during the first few weeks of therapy. Another common time to get a second opinion is when a change in therapy, such as adding radiation therapy, surgery or new chemotherapy has been recommended.

What questions can a second opinion answer for me?

The following list of questions can guide your discussions when seeking a second opinion.

What information do I need to request a second opinion at the Cancer Center at CHOP?

To help us perform a thorough pediatric cancer second opinion evaluation, we would like to have a full summary of your child's evaluation, treatments and studies up to this point. It’s important for you to provide as much of the following information as possible to allow our teams to make the best second opinion recommendation.

Patient summary

Complete clinical summary

To obtain a second opinion or consultation, please call us at 267-426-0762.

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The Cancer Center Experience

Whether your child has been newly diagnosed with cancer or you’re looking for a second opinion, discover the practices that set us apart from other pediatric hospitals. Take our virtual tour »

The CHOP Difference

  • 100 percent of our oncologists are involved in research and strive to immediately apply research advances to improve therapy for patients.
  • We lead the development and conduct of Phase I clinical trials in the United States, allowing CHOP physicians to offer patients new therapies available in only a few hospitals nationwide.
  • Our physicians/ researchers maintain leadership positions in nationally and internationally renowned clinical associations that are paving the way for new treatments, and in turn, cures for cancer.