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Referral to a specialist

Find out when GPs refer people to see an anal cancer specialist. And get some suggestions for questions that you can ask your doctor.

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist within 2 weeks if you have symptoms that could be due to anal cancer. This is called an urgent referral.

Seeing your GP

It can be hard for GPs to decide who may have cancer and who might have a more minor condition. For some symptoms, your doctor may ask you to wait to see if the symptoms get better or respond to treatment, such as antibiotics.

There are guidelines for GPs to help them decide who needs an urgent referral.

Urgent referral

Urgent referral means that you should see a specialist within 2 weeks.

You should have an urgent referral to a specialist if you have an unexplained lump or unexplained ulceration in your anus.

UK referral guidelines

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Healthcare Improvement Scotland produce guidelines for GPs. The guidelines help them decide who needs an urgent referral.

Information and help

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.​