My understanding is that they can provide an unbiased opinion about treatment options and active surveillance...It’s hard to know who it’s safe to listen to.
Medical oncologists have no more knowledge of curative treatment options than any well-prepared patient would have. Why would they? They treat incurable cases. They can only get in the way by offering their unqualified opinion, when what you need are opinions from specialists who are qualified. It is very unrealistic to expect anyone would be unbiased. We are all human and all have biases. No one but you is qualified to make the critical judgments about
what is important to you. I believe in patient empowerment, but you seem to want to give up your power. Power comes with responsibility. Who can blame you? It is much easier to avoid that responsibility, and rely on someone else. Otherwise it is up to you to find and talk to the best doctors, and to make up your mind about
which treatment is right for you. The only one who it is safe to listen to is yourself.
It was also the oncologist that recommended Epstein second opinion and 3T MRI, plus Oncotype testing, to help narrow down treatment options. If we had listened to the other doctors, they would have sold us treatment without any further testing.
That is typical of MOs - they will order all kinds of tests you don't need and only add to anxiety. Everyone here recommended a second opinion from Epstein. I have no idea what you hope to learn from the MRI or Oncotype tests -- two very expensive tests that won't make any difference in your treatment decision. MRIs are very poor at staging (something an MO probably doesn't know) and Oncotype is only for men who are on the fence between AS and treatment - which you are not. Moreover, after you decide on a treatment, the specialist will have his own imaging requirements. For example, if you have external beam radiation, they will want a CT scan and MRI after
the fiducials are in - again, something an mO might not know. This sounds like it's been a very needlessly expensive decision for you.
Their refusal to let us know about all the available options and diagnostic follow up seems like negligence to me.
It's not negligence - it's just outside their field. It would be as if you were talking to a stucco wall specialist about
how to build a log cabin - they just would not have a clue. It is up to you to talk to the specialists. And as I said, the reason they did not ask for diagnostic follow-up is because based on your current diagnosis, there was no reason for you to waste the extra money, and go through the anxiety of the test results.