You have been referred to the Early Cancer Diagnostic Centre (ECDC) because you have noticed some changes in your body that your GP would like us to investigate. The ECDC is a fast-track clinic and here your symptoms can be investigated by a team of specialists to rule out cancer. You will most likely have some blood tests done at the time of your referral. This clinic is one of the first in Scotland, enabling tests to be carried out as quickly as possible to find out what is causing your symptoms and get you the treatment you may need.
At the ECDC, patients will have an individualised assessment with the aim of achieving a diagnosis and initiating a treatment plan or gaining the reassurance that nothing concerning has been found.
Once you have been referred to this service, you will receive a phone call from your named contact who is a member of the Early Cancer Diagnostic Centre team within two to three working days. This telephone call may appear from an unknown number or an 0800 number so please don’t ignore it. Also make sure that the health professional referring you has your most up to date contact information.
Your named contact
Your named contact is your patient navigator. Your patient navigator will be your consistent point of contact providing structured pre-diagnostic support and co-ordination of needs, under the direction of Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist. Our patient navigators will be trained to an SQV Level 3 in Health and Social Care ensuring that the journey of each potential cancer patient runs smoothly. They will check with you that your blood tests have been done and will be able to answer any questions or queries you or your family may have throughout the process and will keep you informed about next steps. They will let you know what will happen next and your GP practice will also be kept informed.
We want you to be fully involved in decisions about your care. What matters to you is important and we will discuss options with you every step of the way.
The support you receive will depend on your individual needs, but may include:
- a full medical and nursing assessment to help determine any future treatment plan required, your medical fitness and any ongoing needs
- assessment of your mobility, independence and support needs. We will arrange support from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social workers if and when these are required.
Your medical history
The team will go through your medical history and ask questions about your existing symptoms and general wellbeing, to ensure you receive the best possible care and support. To help the team decide which tests you need, have a note of your recent medical history and current medication to hand.
Asking the right questions
Asking your healthcare professionals the right questions will help you decide the tests and treatments that are right for you. We therefore encourage you to ask the BRAN questions at your appointment.
- What are the Benefits?
- What are the Risks?
- What are the Alternatives?
- What if I do Nothing?
You may of course have additional questions of your own, but asking these questions will help you and your healthcare partner to understand the implications of your treatment and make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan
The team will decide whether or not you need a CT scan and will arrange this for you, making you aware of the location, date and time of your appointment by telephone in advance. You will then go to hospital for your scan.
Getting to your appointment
If you need to use hospital transport, then our specialist team of ambulance drivers will make sure you get safely to and from your appointment. If you require help in attending your appointment, you can call the patient transport number on 0300 123 1236.
After your appointment
We will call you by telephone or a Near Me online video call to discuss the results of your CT scan. The result will be fed back to you within 21 days. The team will then send you to the appropriate cancer team or the appropriate non cancer team. If you do not need to be seen by a specialist, you will be referred back to your GP.