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University Hospitals Dorset
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When we have received the referral from your GP, we will arrange for you to come to talk to us at a clinic appointment or to have any investigations which we feel may be helpful. These may be in the Endoscopy or Radiology Departments. You may also be asked to visit our Pathology Department to have a blood test taken. You will receive an appointment letter which will describe where to come, what investigations will be done and what treatment to expect, as well as any instructions you may need about preparation for the test.

After your investigations, the specialists involved in your case may feel it is appropriate to arrange for you to have further tests, or they may send an appointment for you to speak with them in our outpatient clinic. If there are no concerns about your symptoms and investigations, they will refer you back to your GP, who will continue with your care.

If tissue samples (biopsies) have been taken during your tests, these will be looked at in the lab and if there is anything of concern then your specialist may refer you to a cancer nurse specialist (CNS). Your CNS will support you through any further investigations and treatment if necessary. Unless you are told you have cancer, do not presume that you have cancer. Being referred to a CNS does not in itself mean that you have cancer.

If we do find that you have cancer, your situation will be discussed in one of the multi-disciplinary team ('MDT') meetings, where all the specialists who might need to be involved in your care will discuss the best possible treatment plan for you. This speeds up the process of starting any treatment which is necessary. You will be contacted soon after this meeting by one of our CNSs or other specialists, to discuss your results either over the telephone (if you have indicated that this is your preference) or in an outpatient clinic appointment. The possible treatment options will be discussed with you; this may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, endoscopic intervention or a combination of these. Any possible side effects will be discussed with you so that you can have all the information you need in order to make the right decision for your treatment and care.