Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help. If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer

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Getting diagnosed

You usually start by seeing your GP if you have symptoms. They examine you and might refer you for tests or to a specialist. Some people may be diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary during tests for another condition.

If your tests show that you have cancer spread (a secondary cancer), you have further tests to look for where the cancer started (the primary tumour) and to see if it has spread anywhere else in the body. If doctors can't find the primary cancer, it is cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Sometimes doctors find the primary cancer at a later date. When this happens, the cancer is no longer a CUP and your treatment will follow the guidelines for the specific type of cancer, and not cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Seeing your GP

What happens when you see your GP and how to get the most out of your appointment.

Referral to a specialist

Find out which specialist doctor you might see and what to expect. 


Find out which tests you might have to diagnose cancer, and what further tests you may need to look for the primary tumour.

Last reviewed: 
22 May 2020

Information and help