Most treatments and services that patients need are offered by the NHS. But in some cases, treatment is not available for patients with a particular need.
If a treatment is not available on the NHS, start by talking to your cancer doctor. It is important to understand the treatment and whether it is right for you.
This can depend on:
- the type and stage of cancer you have
- the side effects and risks of the treatment
- the possible benefits of the treatment
- any other treatments you have had
- other treatments that are available.
If you and your doctor agree that you would benefit from the treatment, you can apply to the NHS for funding. The way you apply is different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If a treatment is still unavailable, there may be other things you can do (see ‘Other things you can do if a treatment is not available’ below).