Comprehensive cancer diagnosis at HCA Healthcare UK

You can be assured that at HCA UK you will have rapid access to the latest and most advanced diagnostic technologies and techniques, to provide you with an accurate diagnosis without delay.

If you are diagnosed with cancer you will have immediate access to a world-leading team of cancer experts, who will recommend a personalised treatment and care plan based on your individual needs.

Appointments & Enquiries

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About cancer diagnostics

Early and accurate diagnosis is vital to delivering the most effective treatments and achieving the best possible outcomes. We use a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose, stage and monitor cancer.

You may have been referred for a diagnostic test for a number of reasons:

You may have been referred by your GP or another healthcare professional based on certain symptoms. It is important to remember that your symptoms can often be related to another health condition and do not necessarily mean you have cancer, but it is important to determine your exact diagnosis quickly.

We understand that experiencing symptoms and having diagnostic tests is a worrying time. We provide fast access to consultant specialists, tests and scans, providing the answers you need without delay.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, you may need additional tests and scans to confirm which type and stage of cancer you have.

Your consultant will discuss the results of these tests with a group of cancer specialists at a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT). Our MDT’s meet to discuss and recommend the most effective treatment options for you.

During your treatment your consultant will usually refer you for tests to monitor your cancer and the effectiveness of your treatment. These tests help your consultant to monitor how well the treatment is working and make adjustments if necessary.

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About the tests and investigations we use

Because diagnosing cancer is complex, we have invested in the most advanced diagnostic tests available.

From standard radiology to advanced techniques, our team have the knowledge, expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to provide the most accurate cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment planning.

Imaging tests


CT scan

Computed tomography (CT) scan is sometimes referred to as a CAT scan and shows detailed 2D and 3D images of your organs, blood vessels and bones.

PET-CT scans

An advanced nuclear imaging method that gives a detailed picture of your cells and the body's internal structures using low dose radiation.

MRI scan

Our consultant radiologists use some of the most technologically advanced MRI scanners to provide accurate examinations of the inside of your body.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan is a common scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs, tissue or blood flow inside the body.


This breast scan uses the latest high-resolution digital technology to detect breast cancer early using low-dose X-rays.

Laboratory tests

Blood tests

Blood tests can indicate the presence of cancer by looking for abnormal levels of certain changes which are caused by cancer cells.


Biopsies involve removing a sample of tissue from a suspected area of cancer for microscopic examination, or to stage a confirmed cancer. Different types include needle biopsy, endoscopic biopsy, and surgical biopsy. Using advanced biopsy techniques and enhanced imaging, we can investigate all types of cancer, including small and difficult-to-access tumours.

Molecular diagnostics

Molecular tests are used to analyse biological molecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, to detect and diagnose cancer, and provide personalised treatment by analysing individual genetic and molecular information.

Endoscopic procedures

An endoscopic procedure is a technique used to look inside the body. The procedure uses a long thin tube with a small camera inside, called an endoscope, which is passed into the body through a natural opening, such as the bottom. The camera sends real-time images to a monitor, allowing the physician performing the procedure to look for evidence of disease or perform minor procedures, such as biopsies. The type of endoscopy recommended for you will depend on your symptoms. Examples of endoscopic procedures include:


A bronchoscopy is a test to look at your trachea and airways around your windpipe, and take samples for diagnosis and treatment. purposes.


A bowel examination, an effective way of diagnosing bowel conditions or removing colon polyps.


A colposcopy is a procedure to examine in detail the cervix (neck of the womb) with a microscope and identify any abnormal cells.


A cystoscopy is a procedure used to see inside your bladder to diagnose any problems in your urethra or bladder


This procedure is used as an investigation to help find out if there's a problem with the upper part of your digestive system. 

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Ion Endoluminal System (Ion)

We are the first independent healthcare provider to offer the Ion platform, a breakthrough technology transforming the way we diagnose lung nodules. Lung abnormalities can be difficult to reach and diagnose. In the past this has meant that a ‘watch and wait’ approach was often required. Ion has changed this by using robotic-assisted technology to reach small nodules sooner.

Clinical genetics and genomics

Genetic testing

If you have a family history of cancer, often referred to as hereditary risk, and would like to understand your personal risk, we offer genetic testing from a team of experienced genetic counsellors and clinical geneticists. They can identify the tests that are appropriate for you, taking into consideration your family history.

They will discuss your test results and, if required, give you advice about risk-reducing strategies and potential treatments. We also provide genetic testing for people who have been diagnosed with certain cancers that may be linked to an inherited condition - this can help to inform treatment plans.

Genomic testing

Genomic testing focuses on specific mutations within an individual tumour. Results from these tests can be used to identify the most effective treatment options for each individual, including new and innovative therapies and clinical trials.