GP has referred me to post coital bleeding service at local hospital, "fast track" for suspected gynae cancer. Just found out that there is a waiting list of several months before initial appointment. I was already worried, but waiting months seems terrifying & also dangerous if there is actually a problem. Is it worth going to see a private gp? Has anyone done this? How do you go about it?
should i go private?: GP has referred me to post... - Ask Eve
Thank you for your message and we're so sorry to hear you're feeling worried at the moment.
So the fast track service for suspected gynae cancer is known as a 'two week wait' or sometimes slightly longer due to Covid, but definitely not several months. An urgent suspected cancer/fast track appointment definitely wouldn't take months to happen. General gynae appointments, i.e. for gynae issues but not suspected cancer can take several months, so it sounds like this is what you have been referred for. Can we suggest you go back to your GP and check that they did ask for an urgent referral as you have found that you're having to wait several months.
If you have any other questions, please do email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ask Eve Team
Thanks for the reply. I did go straight back to the GP & they said the only other option is to refer me to another local hospital, but they have no info on the wait times there either so it's a lottery as to which health authority has the shortest wait times.
I've double checked and the referral is "Fast track referral for suspected gynaecological cancer".
Just spoken with GP again, & he says the best he can offer me is an internal exam at the surgery & a referral for an ultrasound exam at the hospital which should be quicker.
I'm menopausal, so suspect it could be related to that, but I am worried in case there is something more serious wrong that is going untreated - is an ultrasound on its own enough to pick up anything that's going on?
It might be that whilst your GP has requested an urgent referral, the gynae team at the hospital have looked through your symptoms/history and decided to triage it/assessed it's less urgent than your GP initially thought.
Abnormal bleeding can be a sign of three of the five gynae cancers - womb, cervical and vaginal. A suspected womb cancer (the most common gynae cancer) would typically involve first an ultrasound to check the thickness of the womb lining, and if there were changes to this, then a hysteroscopy and biopsy would happen. So, whilst an ultrasound wouldn't be enough to give a cancer diagnosis it is often the first step when piecing together the 'womb' picture. If your GP has offered you an examination and then ultrasound, it's a good idea to say yes, as upon their visual inspection they may be able to see if the cervix is looking suspicious, or notice lumps in the vagina.
Please do send any other questions to email@example.com
The Ask Eve Team
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