Publication - Advice and guidance

Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer: quick reference guide

Published: 22 Jan 2019
Community Health and Social Care Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care

User-friendly visual aid to the urgent referral criteria as well as routine referral criteria and primary care management and good practice points.

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer: quick reference guide
Urological Cancers

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

Urological Cancers

Urgent suspicion of cancer referral

Prostate Cancer

  • Evidence from digital rectal examination of a hard, irregular prostate
  • Elevated or rising age-specific Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Rough guide to normal PSA levels (ng/ml):
  • Less than 60 years < 3
  • Aged 60-69 years < 4
  • Aged 70-79 years < 5

These figures are a pragmatic aid based on clinical consensus. The principles of Realistic Medicine should be applied when considering referral and, in older men, routine or no referral may be appropriate for PSA levels of:

  • Aged 80-85 years > 10
  • Aged 86 years and over > 20

Bladder and kidney cancer

  • Aged 45 and over and have:
  • unexplained visible haematuria without urinary tract infection, or
  • visible haematuria that persists or recurs after successful treatment of urinary tract infection
  • Aged 60 and over and have unexplained non-visible haematuria and either dysuria or a raised white cell count on a blood test
  • Abdominal mass identified clinically or on imaging that is thought to arise from the urinary tract

Testicular and penile cancer

  • Non painful enlargement or change in shape or texture of the body of
    the testis
  • Suspicious scrotal mass found on imaging
  • Men considered to have epididymo-orchitis or orchitis which is not responding to treatment
  • Any non-healing lesion on the penis or painful phimosis

Routine referral

  • Elevated age-specific PSA where urgent referral will not affect outcome due to age or comorbidity
  • Asymptomatic persistent non-visible haematuria without obvious cause
  • Unexplained visible haematuria < 45 years of age
  • Patients over 40 who present with recurrent UTI associated with any haematuria


Email: Cancer Access Team