nhs or private diagnosis ?

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Hi all - I'm new and in full on scaredy - cat abject terror mode.

After going back to the GP a second time, I've now done a FIT test and am due to go for blood test next week, and have been referred for a colonoscopy with a possible 4 week wait. Of course I am terrified that it will be cancer - all the symptoms seem to point to it.  My symptoms are  persistent pain in rectum, mostly on one side, making it painful to sit upright for very long.  I've never seen any blood in my stool, but passing clear mucus almost all the time. Bowel movement normal first thing in morning (no pain), but then a small amount seems to get caught behind and come out later. Sometimes this is diarrhoea-like, sometimes just small particles in clear mucus, sometimes  ribbon/pellet like but only very small amounts. There's no pain with a bowel movement. I don't know why I'm writing this stuff in here, it just somehow makes me feel marginally better, and it helps to set down the symptoms. I feel like I can't  talk to anyone about it. So many of my friends are connected with work, and it's the kind of workplace where you can't comfortably show any sign of weakness or illness . And the symptoms are too embarrassing to discuss with non-work friends. I live alone. I have no family or close support network. I am regularly in pain at work, but have to hide it. 

I am fortunate to have private health insurance. However my GP kind of muttered under her breath that it was "generally thought to be better to stay with the NHS for this kind of thing".  She didn't expand or explain on that. Does anyone know why she would say that - or have any view on whether it is true?

I have made an initial appointment with a private consultant, and am told there is a max 2 week wait if the private consultant refers me for a colonoscopy (instead of at least 4 weeks in NHS system). 

Grateful for any views or observations...

  • Hi Dingbat, it sounds like things are feeling tough for you right now. You’ve come to the right place for support. There are lots of people on the forum that want to help and share their experiences and wisdom.

    Sadly nobody can say what you’re dealing with until all of the tests are done and in some ways the waiting is the hardest part.

    My experience was that initial nhs tests didn’t identify my cancer. I then had a private consultation and within a week I had been diagnosed with stage 4. At that point I was transferred back into the nhs (lots of issues and not for this post). Since then the nhs has been amazing. 

    hope this helps

  • Hi there,

    I was diagnosed with colon cancer back in January 2024 having had some symptoms which lead to a colonoscopy. I chose to be sedated which takes the edge off the procedure however some chose to have none.

    From the point of diagnosis the NHS have been incredible!  

    Nobody can tell you how to feel as the word Cancer is terrifying to hear, however if it is bad news I can guarantee you will be in good hands. A friend of the family is ironically going through the exact same cancer treatment as me however he had a massive tumour (T3) stage 3, had surgery and is on the road to recovery. Whatever the news you will cope!  

    I am post operation, on round 2 of chemo which isn’t that bad, trust me you can do this! If you have any questions at all post them on here as talking is the biggest tool you will have in your armour.