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Referral to a specialist

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you have symptoms that could be due to anal cancer. 

Depending on your symptoms and other factors, this might be an urgent referral. 

Seeing your GP

Most patients who see a GP do not have cancer and have symptoms due to 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.

UK referral guidelines

Some of the UK nations have targets around how quickly you’ll be seen. In England an urgent referral means that you should see a specialist within 2 weeks.

This 2 week time limit does not exist in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But wherever you live, you are seen as quickly as possible.

Urgent referral

Your GP should refer you to a specialist if you have an unexplained lump or ulceration in your anus. This should be an urgent referral.

Information and help