Your GP should refer you to a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating the type of cancer you have. This may be a surgeon, a cancer specialist (oncologist) or another type of specialist, such as a doctor specialising in blood conditions (haematologist). You can ask them about their area of expertise.
Although tests can be uncomfortable, the healthcare staff looking after you should make you feel as comfortable as possible. You should be given information about the tests, including written information. This should be easy to understand and explain everything you want to know.
You will usually be given an appointment to come back and see your specialist, so that they can explain the results of your tests. They should use clear language and give you enough time to ask questions.
You can also ask for a key worker or clinical nurse specialist to be there to help, although there is not always a specialist nurse for every situation. You can also bring someone with you when your diagnosis and treatment options are being discussed.
Here are some possible questions you could ask about being referred for tests:
- Why are you referring me to a specialist?
- Is the doctor I will be seeing a cancer specialist?
- When will I be seen? Are you referring me as urgent or non-urgent?
- When will I have the tests?
- What are the tests for and what will they involve?
- Will the person doing the test look after me while it is being done? Will they tell me what to expect?
- Who will give me the results and when?