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Cancer diagnosis

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How we make a cancer diagnosis

You will be referred to the hospital for tests if your doctor (GP) spots something that suggests cancer. This is called a suspected cancer referral (a two week rule referral). We see all urgent referrals for a clinic appointment within 
two weeks.

Inpatients may also get referred to cancer clinics whilst they are in a hospital for something else. For example, a routine chest x-ray to look for infection may reveal possible cancer. 

Cancer clinics 

You will be sent a clinic appointment by post with details of where to go, what to bring, and what to expect. It is very important that you keep this appointment. If you can't make the appointment please ring us as soon as possible. You need to arrive at your clinic on time so we can see you and other patients as quickly as possible. You can bring a friend or relative for company.

You may get a physical examination at the clinic. Some basic diagnostic tests will probably be performed. For some cancers - like breast - all tests are performed in one single clinic visit. However, the majority of cancer tests take time to arrange and complete. This means you will probably be invited back to the hospital for further appointments.​