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Medical Services

If you think you might have cancer, or if you have already been diagnosed, medical services will be at the heart of your care.

If you think you might have cancer

If you are feeling unwell and are worried about possible symptoms, go to your GP as soon as possible. This is important because if you do have cancer, the earlier you are diagnosed, the better. Your first step is to talk to your GP. If they think there is any chance that it could be cancer, they may refer you to see a consultant at hospital.


Talk to your GP about the options for where you are referred. To compare your local hospital’s performance click here.


If you are referred to a consultant, the hospital is required to give you an appointment within 14 days.


If you are worried, do ask to take a partner, family member or friend with you to see the consultant. You can also ask to record any conversation with your GP or consultant on your smartphone, if you have one. That way, if there is anything you don’t fully understand at the time you can listen again.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions.


If you are being treated for cancer

If you are receiving treatment for cancer, you will be in regular contact with your cancer team. Ask them for a number that you can call if you are worried about anything in between appointments.

If you need help with side effects, talk to your consultant or cancer nurse specialist. Others in the team may be able to help too. For example, psychologists can help with anxiety.

If you need advice out of hours, contact the oncology registrar at your hospital or dial 111.

Some people choose to become involved in clinical trials as an opportunity to try out new treatments that are not yet widely available. If you would like to know more about this, ask your cancer team.