What to expect at your Cancer Screening appointment

At the International Cancer Care Network we are dedicated to the early diagnosis or exclusion of cancer. After years working as oncologists in the NHS Dr Doraid Alrifai and Dr Jason Chow recognised the growing need and importance of rapid cancer screening appointments. Symptoms can often be vague and easily dismissed. This means more patients present too late for cancer treatments to be effective. There is a growing need for rapid diagnosis that enables patients to eliminate the stress and potential risks of long waiting times. Put simply, ‘Spotting cancer at an early stage saves lives’.

What are cancer screening tests?

Many people ask, “what are cancer screening tests?”. Cancer screening tests provide a complete view of what is occurring in your body. The exact types of tests depend on whether a person has any symptoms, and if they do, what symptoms they are. To decide this, the first step in our cancer screening program is a consultation with a member of our specialist team. 

ICCN Cancer Screening Appointment

What does a cancer screening test involve at ICCN:

  1. A senior specialist nurse (known as an advanced nurse practitioner) will take a full history including any past medical history and symptoms. This is a key part of our approach which holds our patients at the centre and enables us to gain a deeper understanding of anything they are experiencing. This is also an important step if any onward referrals are necessary, especially if cancer is excluded. During your appointment at your cancer screening test you will have a comprehensive panel of bloods taken and checks on your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturations. If necessary a urine sample will be taken too.


  2. Your results will be sent directly to our multidisciplinary team of specialist doctors who will review all the medical details and results in its entirety and discuss your case. This rapid and fully holistic approach to review a person’s medical case means that all possibilities are discussed.


  3. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of a consultant oncologist, consultant physician, consultant surgeon, general practitioner and radiologists. Throughout the process you will have a named consultant specialist who is overseeing your case and is responsible for facilitating the discussion and review of your case as well as the implementation of any further tests that might be required. They will contact you to discuss your results, answer any questions and, if needed, decide your next steps with you. 

It is important to note that not all symptoms will be cancer, our cancer screening test is designed to remove anxiety and provide a rapid diagnosis to enable the best quality care going forward. 

Can cancer be detected by a blood test?

Some cancers can be detected by specialist blood tests and these tests can be offered in certain scenarios. These tests screen for circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and can be very accurate in detecting cancer cells in certain situations. Please contact us if you would like to know more about this test and to see if you are eligible. 

When should you get checked for cancer?

Our cancer diagnostic pathway was set up originally after recognising the need to diagnose patients who present with non-specific or vague symptoms. These are symptoms that when looked at in isolation may not be a reason to worry (or where a cause is difficult to pinpoint on its own). However they may signal that something else is happening in your body. For this reason they are often overlooked or do not warrant a referral in general medical settings. If you have persistent symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, trouble swallowing, indigestion, hoarse voice or cough, urinary symptoms or altered bowel habits we recommend you should speak to a medical professional to see whether you need further tests carried out. At Spotlight Health, we offer this service and a rapid diagnostic pathway to diagnose or exclude significant illnesses and offer peace of mind. 

Our team at Spotlight Health also offers cancer screening tests in patients who don’t have any symptoms, but might be worried about cancer. This can be in people who have a high risk lifestyle of family history of cancer. Our team can counsel you on the tests that we have available to offer peace of mind. 

Our appointments are designed to offer a warm and welcoming service to alleviate worry or provide answers. If you have any questions please get in touch with us: contact@theiccn.co.uk 

The ICCN are highly qualified cancer specialists working in London. We provide education, cancer screenings and private cancer treatment in the UK.

The ICCN are highly qualified cancer specialists working in London. We provide education, cancer screenings and private cancer treatment in the UK.

Helping people along their journey

Cancer awareness and education

We provide oncology education globally. Our experts often provide talks in their specialist fields both virtually and in person. 

Cancer testing and diagnosis

The Clinic by Spotlight Health offers provides rapid cancer screening with each individual case being assessed by a whole multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists.

Private cancer care in the UK

We deliver high-quality, expert, cancer care. Our experienced clinicians come from a wide range of specialty backgrounds, having trained in some of the world’s most highly regarded hospitals.