Diagnosis Timeline and Anxiety

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On June 13th I received the devastating news that I have a suspicious 3 cm growth in my oesophagus. And I am on an NHS fast track for cancer diagnosis. Pathology results are back. I do not know what it shows but it must be malignancy or else other tests would not have been requested.  I had a CT scan within a few days and  I was told this “found the tumour” but now my diagnosis is dependant on a CT-PET scan which can not be done until July 3rd.  
The delay in diagnostics is adding to my anxiety.  The first MDT meeting my results can be discussed is 5th July.  
Adding to my anxiety is the thought that there may also be waiting times to access treatment. 
What are people’s experience of waiting times for treatment? 

  • I was scheduled to start mid to late October when I met with the oncologist. However less than a week later i got  a start date of 29th September. They had a cancellation.  Leading up to this i had no delays 

  • Thank you for replying. How soon after your diagnosis and treatment plan was that? 

  • Hi Rosiee,

    The NHS in England, Wales & NI has set targets for the start of cancer treatment. These are the 62 and 31 day targets. The first is that 85% of patients should commence treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral from their GP (which you have clearly had). The second target is that 96% of patients should commence treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat the cancer. How well these targets are met obviously varies between UK regions and within different health authorities. Personally, I commenced treatment exactly 62 days after my initial GP appointment. Coincidence? I think not! The waiting game can be very difficult but, while you may be lucky, you may also have to resign yourself to the fact that, if the decision to treat is made after your MDT meeting on 5th July, then it could be early August before your treatment starts. After that, things generally seem to move along quite swiftly. Sorry if this is not the information you were hoping for. Best wishes, CB

  • Early September I was disagnosed 

  • Hi Rosie

    My experience has been very positive. Please don't believe everything you hear on social media! I saw my docs on Monday the 18th of March and by Friday had an appointment for an endoscopy which confirmed a tumour at the bottom of my esophagus. Within three weeks I'd had a CT and PET scan. Saw the oncologist soon after and my treatment plan was put in place. 4 rounds of FLOT chemo started on the 13th of May.