Rapid Diagnostic Cancer Clinic (RDCC)
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The Rapid Diagnostic Cancer Clinic aims to deliver earlier and faster diagnosis for patients with vague symptoms or signs suggestive of cancer.
Based at St George’s NHS Foundation Trust across both St Georges Hospital in Tooting and Queen Marys Hospital, Roehampton, the team have access to urgent specialist investigations which aim to provide a better Primary Care and Patient experience in aiding faster diagnosis to patients with vague symptoms where there is an underlying clinical suspicion of cancer.
Patients with non-specific symptoms are more likely to have multiple GPs appointments and present to Emergency Departments. However, when there is an underlying clinical suspicion of cancer studies have shown 8-14%* are likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer.
The RDCC has been formed following this guidance.
*This equated to 239 cases in the ACE evaluation. Source: Cancer Research UK (2019) Key messages from the evaluation of Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centres (MDC). Available from here.
What we offer at St George’s Hospital
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers a comprehensive diagnostic service. The RDCC provides rapid broad assessment of patients’ symptoms that do not fit into an existing urgent suspected cancer pathways. The service streamlines appropriate investigations for patients presenting with vague symptoms which may be suggestive of cancer. Working as an alternative to the Emergency Department or being seen down multiple referral pathways.
St George’s Hospital is a large teaching hospital with the full range of skills and support services needed to investigate and treat most types of cancer, already providing many regional and supra-regional and national cancer services and expertise in the management of cancer.
How does the RDCC run?
Your GP practice will book an appointment for an initial telephone consultation with a nurse or doctor at St George’s to discuss your symptoms. Following this telephone appointment, you will either have investigations (including blood tests/ scans) at the hospital or you will be asked to attend a face to face appointment at the hospital with a specialist before you have any investigations.
Your face to face clinic appointment with a specialist will be either at St George’s Hospital or Queen Mary Hospital, Roehampton. This specialist may examine you and will discuss test results with you.
If your test results point to a particular condition, we will refer you to a specialist in that area. You will usually be seen by them in a separate outpatient appointment. If you are diagnosed with cancer, we will give you some information about it and refer you to a specialist cancer team. There are specialist cancer doctors and nurses at the clinic to support you and your family at this difficult time and explain about treatments. You are welcome to bring one friend or family member with you. It may be helpful to have that support if you have concerns about understanding what the medical team will discuss with you.
The Rapid Diagnostic Cancer Team is led by Consultant Oncologist Dr Anna-Mary Young and GPwSI Oncology Lead Dr Owen Carter. They work closely alongside Advanced Nurse Practioners Tracey Preston, Alice Woods and Patient Navigator Amy Ridgeway
Alongside them are a range of doctors from multiple specialties; including General Practice, Oncologists, Gastroenterologists and Geriatricians. The clinic team also includes a Specialist Cancer Psychologist to help support and support patients along the pathway and can help identify other causes of the patients symptoms.