Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer

Guidelines to support primary care clinicians in identifying patients who are most likely to have cancer and therefore require urgent assessment by a specialist. Equally, they help in identifying patients who are unlikely to have cancer, embedding safety netting as a diagnostic support tool.


1. Based on total Scottish population of 5,404,700 as at 30 June 2016: National Records of Scotland mid 2016 population estimates Scotland, Scottish Cancer Registry, Information Services Division (ISD), April 2018, GP Workforce & Practise Populations

2. Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action

3. NICE Guideline [NG12] Suspected cancer: recognition and referral (June 2015 last updated July 2017)

4. Practising Realistic Medicine

5. Cancer Research UK: Your Urgent Referral Explained

6. Statistics on Preventable Cancers

7. Clinical relevance of thrombocytosis in primary care: Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (659): e405-e413. DOI:

8. Cancer Working Group of the Scottish Clinical Biochemistry Managed Diagnostic Network

9. HIS Familial Breast Cancer Report

10. SIGN 126 - Diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer

11. Cancer Incidence Report In Scotland (2016)

12. Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme – Summary Card

13. SIGN 135 Management of epithelial ovarian cancer

14. Grace Kelly Ladybird

15. Headsmart

16. Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines

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