I’m new to this and feeling very scared and fragile at the moment whilst waiting and waiting for test results, appointments, answers etc. my main question is - how do they know for certain that it is cancer and how do I get a second opinion?

  • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Is it CUP? I’m afraid I’m not qualified to tell you if it is cancer or not.  To get a second opinion you should ask your Consultant to arrange for you. It’s common practice and they won’t be offended.

    4 months ago, I looked on the cancer research uk website and saw a trial at the Royal Marsden for immunotherapy. I asked my consultant from The Christie to request a place on this and was successful. After being given an original prognosis of 9-12 months, I have been told that all 4 of my cancers have shrunk. It may remain incurable but the immunotherapy looks as though it will extend my life.

    it’s only natural to be scared and fragile but don’t give up. Do you’re homework and see what’s available. Get your second opinion. Talk to others on these blog sites. There are lots of positive stories from people that have beaten their original prognosis.

    best of luck. Keep fighting. 

  • Hi MaggieMay18.  I assume as you are still waiting for tests results you do not have a definitive conclusion that you have cancer.  Just a natural fear that you may have.  To answer your first question the tests that they do are very accurate at identifying that it is not only cancer, but also the type of cancer it it.  There are many different types of test from the old, but very trusty x-ray, through PET scans to pathology where they can look for and chemically test for cancer cells and the type of cell.  Also your consultant will have a good idea from how you present to him; visual and feel.  Thus, with probably a 99%+ certainty, if they say you have cancer then you do.

    It is unlikely that a second opinion will alter the fact that there is a positive cancer diagnosis.  Where that second opinion may be very useful is what your treatment plan looks like.  It is always good to gather as much information as you can about your diagnosis and potential treatment.  That said, avoid google unless you know how to undertake proper clinical research as much of the information is old and shows the very extreme cases.  You are far better off talking to your clinical team, engaging with the cancer charities and fellow cancer patients on here.  If you want a second opinion then talk to your primary consultant and I am sure they will arrange something.  They are used to sorting out second opinions.

    Let us know how you get on with the tests.