Find out when GPs refer people to a specialist.
Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist within 2 weeks if you have symptoms that could be due to 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 a referral for a possible cancer. However as carcinoid tumours are rare and their symptoms can be so varied there aren't specific referral guidelines for carcinoid. Some carcinoid symptoms are the same as for other types of cancer.
Your doctor looks at your symptoms and decides what specialist to refer you to. For example, for symptoms of bowel or stomach problems, you see a gastroenterologist or a gastrointestinal surgeon. For symptoms related to your breathing, you see a chest or respiratory specialist.
What to expect
- asks about your medical history and symptoms
- examines you
They also arrange any tests that you need. These will depend on your symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with carcinoid, your specialist will refer you to a team of doctors who have expertise in treating neuroendocrine tumours.