Diagnosis is how your doctors work out what illness is causing your symptoms.
The time to get a diagnosis can be short for some people and longer for others. This is because your doctors need to be sure the diagnosis is right before they offer you any treatment.
To get a diagnosis, you will need some tests, and you may have to see more than one doctor. The information in this section will help you know what to expect.
In this section
Symptoms are changes in your body that you notice, like having a cough, a pain or a lump.
Seeing a GP
Not all symptoms are caused by cancer, but it is always best to get them checked out.
Your doctors will send you for tests to check what is causing your symptoms.
Your GP may refer you to a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating people with cancer.
Understanding your diagnosis
Your specialist uses the information from your tests to confirm your diagnosis.
Getting a second opinion
You can choose to get a second opinion if you want one.
Navigating the health system
Knowing a little about health professionals and the health system may help you feel more in control.
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Feelings and cancer
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is an emotionally difficult time, but there are ways to find support.
Telling other people
Telling others about your cancer can be difficult but a little preparation can help.
Your specialist will discuss a treatment plan with you, and explain what this involves.
It is important to ask about costs before you start your treatment.