What happens if my GP thinks I might have cancer?

If your GP suspects that your symptoms suggest that you may have cancer, they will refer you to see a hospital specialist within two weeks. It is important to attend this appointment as early diagnosis and treatment has been shown to improve outcomes. 

Referral to a specialist does not mean that you have cancer. The majority of patients seen by a specialist are found to have a different benign condition, only a small proportion of patients referred to a specialist will be found to have cancer.

There are a few things you can do before your appointment to make it easier:

  • make sure your GP has your correct address and telephone number (including your mobile number),
  • if you have not been contacted by the hospital within a week of being referred by your GP, contact your GP practice to follow this up,
  • follow any instructions sent to you for your appointment,
  • think about whether you would like someone to attend your appointment with you,
  • think about whether there are any specific questions you want to ask at your appointment,
  • if you can’t attend your appointment, please let the hospital know so they can arrange for you to attend at another time.

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